Colorado’s cannabis industry makes modest gains in minority ownership

Almost 17% of regulated marijuana business owners in Colorado identify as minorities, according to new data by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, but one Black entrepreneur contests that there’s much more work to be done.

“Cannabis ownership in Colorado is still a pipe dream for people of color,” said Wanda James, founder and CEO of Denver’s Simply Pure Dispensary, which was the state’s first Black-owned cannabis dispensary. “When I say people of color, I mean Black and Latino bases that were harmed by the drug war.”

The new licensee demographic data for this month, which was reported as of Jan. 1, confirmed that the office surpassed its goal to boost minority-ownership of marijuana businesses to 16.8% by June 30.

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