Denver, Colorado Releases Cannabis Business Equity Study

“This study sadly confirmed what was widely suspected,” said Ashley Kilroy, Denver Excise and Licenses executive director. “Denver does not have a diverse marijuana industry.
Denver, Colorado Releases Cannabis Business Equity Study

On Monday, May 8, Denver released the City and County of Denver Cannabis Business And Employment Opportunity Study. The city commissioned this study so that they can help lawmakers make smart moves when it comes to licenses, policy changes, and other major milestones. 

“This study sadly confirmed what was widely suspected,” said Ashley Kilroy, Denver Excise and Licenses executive director. “Just like what has been seen across the state and in other legalized markets across the U.S., Denver does not have a diverse marijuana industry. Fortunately, this study arms us with key information that will help us take new steps to improve equitable access to the cannabis industry in Denver. We look forward to the work ahead with the industry, social equity activists, lawmakers and other stakeholders to create a Denver social equity plan that offers more opportunities to increase diversity when Denver creates new marijuana licenses in the future.”

The Survey Results

Of those surveyed, 80.1 percent of those polled were white, 13.9 percent were Hispanic, and 6.6 percent were African-American. Just like in another demographic report the state recently took on MED License Demographic Data, the numbers here reveal a lack of diversity. Seventy-five percent of those who answered and were cannabis business owners were white, and African Americans only make up 6 percent of the population of those who work in or own cannabis businesses. 

The Employment and Opportunity Study also looked at how best to train those in best practices, how to develop business plans, what kind of help the industry needs, and how those involved can advance their careers. It looked into potential plans to improve equity, such as more training, license fees in some cases, and social equity funds. 

Some of the major hurdles the study named are banking regulations, start-up costs, finding a place for the business, zoning, obtaining licenses, and licensing procedures. If some of these barriers can be broken down, that would make for a more equitable industry.

  1. In seeing all of the large cannabis companies posting their support and recognitions of racial injustice on social media, you would think diversity and inclusion is common practice in Colorado. Unfortunately, it still is just a “check off box,” as these companies look to add more licenses and locations.
    Deeds, not words!

  2. Look slavery was over a long time ago. So racism should have been over then too… if everyone just stopped to smoke a Blunt everyone would see each-other as one. We apparently are not 100 percent racist because we all listen to Rap which majority is black people that perform for us 24/7. Black lives matter, so do brown green yellow blue and white. 🌈everyone matters.

    1. Soooo you’re saying smoke a blunt, forget about the inequalities that you failed to mention and go on with life? This is why shit won’t change unless the people/government(s) that are in control of all this are FORCED to change.

  3. Inequities in any industry is not racist but you only have applicants that apply to choose from. If you want to invalidate the work of the emancipation proclomation, womens sufferage, civil rights movement, and the teachings of Martin Luther King ……go somewhere else to live. You can’t recruit enough people of color as teachers, because they are not interested and won’t work for the pittance teachers, policemen, fireman, etc. ALL AMERICAN LIVES MATTER!! quit with the acronyms and hyphenated heritage. And then again who is controlling the black market for cannibas………. wonder what those demographics look like!!

  4. Colorado Demographics
    According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Colorado was:

    White: 84.17%
    Black or African American: 4.12%
    Other race: 3.88%
    Two or more races: 3.57%
    Asian: 3.12%
    Native American: 0.99%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.15%

  5. It will be interesting to see what remedies the Denver Excise and Licenses executive director proposes.

    I would invite anybody reading these comments to take a look at the data linked to in the article.

    I think people including the authorities are asking the right questions.

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