Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs struggle for traction in Canada's cannabis industry

Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation report shows little diversity in leadership of cannabis sector
CBC News (Canada)
Saturday, October 17, 2020

canada black entreprenuersA policy brief by the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation and the University of Toronto looked at c-suite level executives, parent companies and licensed producers in Canada. The research reveals that two years after legalization, 84 per cent of cannabis industry leaders are white and 86 per cent are men; only 2 per cent of industry leaders are Indigenous, and just 1 per cent are Black. Lead author Akwasi Owusu-Bempah says the lack of Black and Indigenous leadership in the industry goes beyond just an issue of representation or diversity: "Black and Indigenous people that we found to be underrepresented in leadership in cannabis were the two groups that were most targeted by prohibition. So they were the groups that were most criminalized, for example, for minor possession."