African Americans — one of the groups that have been harmed the most by the War on Drugs — remain underrepresented in Michigan’s new legal cannabis industry. According to the Lansing State Journal, only 4% of the respondents of a survey of cannabis license holders conducted by Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs identified as Black, though the group makes up 14% of the state’s population. High start-up costs are to blame for limiting who can enter the industry, though some municipalities have social equity programs that offer reduced fees for minority groups, as well as for people with previous drug offenses. Meanwhile, Detroit, the biggest Black city in the country, has decided to not allow recreational cannabis sales for now, further limiting representation in the industry. Until that all gets worked out, these local Black-owned cannabis brands could use your support. —Lee DeVito and Jerilyn Jordan
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