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Industry | 02.23.2022

A Nevada Equity Program Is Ensuring Minorities Have A Clear Shot At The Cannabis Industry

The Pathway to Ownership program offers a lengthy course to help minorities seize each opportunity within their cannabis businesses.

Soon enough, the state of Nevada should be filled with cannabis consumption lounges, and a few counties have already begun accepting applications to license these businesses. But, before kicking things into full gear and licensing a handful of businesses, a new program ensures that people of color are getting the same opportunity. 

Outlets report that through the Pathway to Ownership program, participants will take a 17-week course and further identify what’s taking the cannabis industry to new heights and how visible minorities could close the gap of increasing inequities. 

The program was created by A’esha Goins, chair of the Cannabis Advisory Committee Subcommittee on Social Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The program’s commissioner, Tick Segerblom, spoke with Fox 5 Vegas about its main goals and what it aims to do for people of color. 

“Now that these white guys are making a fortune, let’s pass some of that success on to other people,” Segerblom told the outlet. On the other hand, Goins mentioned in a press release that she hopes participants will have the “confidence that they can do this business and be good at it” and create a team of mentors to network with down the line. 

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Data from the State of Nevada shows that out of the 330 cannabis businesses licenses given, there are only three applicants who are Black. And it doesn’t help that Nixon’s war on drugs was literally designed to have a heavy impact on minority communities, imprisoning far too many people of color for nonviolent cannabis crimes. 

So, Segerblom says this explains why “The marijuana industry, at least ownership, is fairly white-dominated,” adding that “A lot of rich guys got into it early,” reports Fox 5 Vegas. 

One man named Douglas Turner recently finished the 17-week Pathway to Ownership program, and he explained to the outlet that seeing his family members “being incarcerated for possession of cannabis” and the fact that it’s now become legal “seems a little unfair.”

This was a driving force of motivation behind why Turner decided to participate in the program, but the end goal is to “open a cannabis lounge [and] make it very leisure and relaxing,” he said. Now, Turner has his application for the lounge submitted and is looking forward to opening the doors sometime soon. 

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