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Rap Icon Redman Talks Opportunity For People Of Color In The Cannabis Industry

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Rap Icon Redman Talks Opportunity For People Of Color In The Cannabis Industry
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Last week, Forbes published an article on Redman, a rapper best known for being part of the early crew of Def Jam records — and for his collaborations with massive names in hip hop including Method Man, 2Pac, and Eminem.

Redman and Method Man are working on their own cannabis brand.

“My whole thing is I want to be able to help people … I definitely want to help the youth, people who can’t afford medicine. It’s all about helping,” Redman said.

Need more cannabis news? Check out all of our coverage here.

'It's A Boundary'

As a longtime cannabis legalization advocate, Redman has been involved in many cannabis-related projects before, from songs and movie scores to investments and commercial ventures.

During a recent interview with Cyrus Langhorne, Redman touched on the opportunities that exist for people of color in the cannabis industry.

The interview was for Cannaramic, an online summit featuring more than 20 cannabis experts including Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, NORML’s David Holland, former NHL players Ryan VandenBussche and Riley Cote, U.S. Army veteran José Belén, UFC champion Frank “The Legend” Shamrock, investor Jeff Siegel and chef Dee Russell. 

According to recent estimates, roughly 1 percent of cannabis dispensaries and about 4.3 percent of all cannabis businesses are owned or founded by black people. The stats are similar for other underrepresented groups. 

“Bottom line is, long story short, it’s just like any business, or any occupation, or any city, or any inner-city: gentrification will come; the big boys will come buy up and close up all the mom and pop shops one at a time," he said.

"As far as people of color, yes it seems like it’s a boundary where we can’t cross to be official." 

Minorities, immigrants and those who are "trying to get into the marijuana game at a lower level” are getting excluded from the legal cannabis industry, he said. In Redman's opinion, compliance is the biggest issue “keeping the small time guys out.”

An Uphill Battle

“[Big guys] know that, besides coming in and trying to raid your spot, they know a way to keep you down is to keep these laws around, [laws] that they know you can’t keep up with. They want you spending your money,” Redman said.

“Some of these people you’ve got to go through to get regulated and compliant, these are people who don’t want you in there anyway." 

Redman said he has friends who have done substantial upfront work to open a dispensary. 

"They put money into something that they thought they could get on the board," he said. "They’ll get turned down. They’ll spend $50,000 or $60,000 putting up for paperwork, and it doesn’t even get looked at and they still can keep your money … it’s just the whole game of [marijuana] is not pinned down yet.”

Circling back to people of color and the opportunities they have within the cannabis industry, Redman reiterated that it's a challenge.  

Photo by MikaV via Wikimedia. 

Need more cannabis news? Check out all of our coverage here.

Read more about our latest Cannabis News! CANNABIS HOME

Posted-In: B-Real Cannaramic Cyrus Langhorne David Holland Dee RussellCannabis Markets Interview Best of Benzinga

 

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