Alternative Ways to Enter the Cannabis Industry

More than One Way to Profit from Legal Marijuana

By Zilingo Nwuke

The cannabis industry has become a very lucrative global market. Since the introduction of medicinal marijuana and the legalization of marijuana in multiple states, those who have taken advantage of the “need for weed” have made a killing. Everyone except for minorities; it seems.

In fact, African Americans only represent one percent of business owners in the country when referring to the cannabis market. Considering African Americans dealt with the most backlashes before legalization, that’s a hard pill to swallow. African Americans should be reaping the benefits of legalizing marijuana.

High profile celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson and Wiz Khalifah are among some the most recognizable African Americans in the entertainment industry. They have also become well known in the cannabis business.  With so much money being made within the cannabis market, how can more African Americans take advantage of this opportunity?

As it turns out, there are many ways for African Americans to enter this burgeoning new world of legal pot outside of opening a dispensary or working in largely low-wage positions. For instance, ancillary services may prove to be the key to penetrating this illusive marketplace.

There exists a need to provide support services for the industry. African American entrepreneurs would be smart to consider focusing on providing such services as foundational support for the industry. There are many opportunities for us to enter the industry in a very real, profitable manner.

The following are some opportunities to consider:

  • Delivery Services
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Printing
  • Product Sampling/Demonstrations
  • News and Information Services
  • Education and Training
  • Cultivation
  • Payment Processing
  • Security Services
  • Information Technology Support
  • Human Resources/Talent Acquisition
  • Social Media Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Cannabis Café/Spa/Beauty & Wellness
  • Branding
  • Construction
  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)
  • Packaging
  • THC Infused Edibles/Drinkables
  • Real Estate
  • Legal Services
  • Hemp Textiles/Fashion
  • T-Shirts/Caps/Apparel
  • Tourism

The list is virtually endless. So while we may not be capitalized enough to qualify for a dispensary, there are clearly many other ways for African Americans to enter in Cannabis market. Time is of the essence as national legalization appears to be on the horizon.

For many who may possess the acumen to create a thriving business, the worry regarding background checks and past convictions or arrests is a real impediment. However, by providing a support service, this concern can be overcome. Your product or service is marketed directly to the business owner rather than the state.

As the stigma of marijuana use continues to decline, African Americans stand to find our fortunes in a heretofore illegal activity. Black business leaders are now beginning to think ownership vs. employment when it comes to the pot market.

Currently, African Americans represent only one percent of cannabis entrepreneurs but comprise the overwhelming majority of those languishing in prison for engaging in an acidity that is now legal in many states around the nation. Therefore, if anyone should be provided opportunities in the marijuana market, there is a convincing argument to be made that African Americans deserve representation.

It is time to bring our considerable skills and talent to this budding industry.