It'd be easy to say that the United States is experiencing the new dawn of cannabis. As of Jan. 1 2020, 33 states, four U.S. territories, and D.C. have legalized medical marijuana use, with 14 of the above having legalized recreational use as well. For the THC-averse, CBD is available in almost any form you can imagine, and hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil can be procured on a Target run. So, then, why are there so few Black-owned marijuana and CBD brands?
According to KGW, legal marijuana sales turned an $89 million profit in Oregon alone, just in the month of April of this year. Nevertheless, Buzzfeed News published in 2016 that approximately 1 percent of the United States' storefront marijuana dispensaries are Black-owned. Marijuana Business Daily's 2017 survey of marijuana business owners showed this was bumped up to just 4.3 percent.
That statistic scratches the surface, encapsulating cannabis' most visible side. With a major player in the CBD beauty boom such as Sephora just now dedicating 15 percent of its general shelf space to Black-owned brands, it seems as if the trendy compound is equally difficult to break into for Black business owners.
Entrepreneurs across the industry also face the stigmatization of their product — even if you can grab a CBD balm at Neiman Marcus now. "I definitely think cannabis is still stigmatized, although the industry has come a long way in the past few years," says Janelle Benjamin, founder of the apparel and art brand, Jane Parade. "But the idea that cannabis is nothing more than a 'harmful party drug' is so ingrained in our culture that it's difficult to break away from."
The War on Drugs' lasting effects continue to systemically damage at the community level, as well: Forbes reported that one marijuana arrest happened every 48 seconds in 2018, a terrifying frequency when you consider ACLU's statistic that — while Black and white people imbibe at "roughly equal" rates — Black people are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana.
Still, you can choose to spend strategically. From Simply Pure in Denver to Blunts&Moore in Oakland, finding a Black-owned dispensary in states where marijuana has been legalized isn't too difficult (even more so with Cannaclusive's digital InclusiveBase bookmarked). Or, scroll on down to get a start. Ahead are just eight of the Black-owned marijuana, CBD, and cannabis-adjacent brands you can shop online.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Readers should note that laws governing cannabis, hemp and CBD are evolving, as is information about the efficacy and safety of those substances. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as legal or medical advice. Always consult your physician prior to trying any substance or supplement.