Just one out of 50 business applicants who qualified for Long Beach’s marijuana social equity program has actually entered the California city’s cannabis industry.
The astonishingly low 2% participation rate can be chalked up to a lack of seed money for those who qualify for the program, according to the Long Beach Business Journal, which estimated that it can cost upwards of $1 million to enter the city’s market.
In a letter to city leadership, the acting Long Beach city manager wrote that according to applicants:
“The primary reason for the discrepancy between interest in the program and actual business license applications received is the substantial amount of capital necessary to start a cannabis business.”
Long Beach was one of several California localities that received state grant money to bolster their cannabis social equity programs.
The city took in $2.7 million in funding, but so far that hasn’t translated to more minorities actually owning marijuana companies.
Long Beach’s cannabis program manager told the Business Journal he was not aware of any Black-owned marijuana retail stores in the city.
For a sampling of organizations and efforts that support, foster and enhance social equity in the cannabis industry as well as opportunities for minorities, overall diversity and racial justice, click here.