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Payne’s comments come after the African American Chamber of Commerce said that Black entrepreneurs had been excluded from New Jersey’s cannabis business.
“Many Black-owned businesses have been trying to get into the cannabis industry since 2012 when cannabis for medicinal purposes became legal in New Jersey,” AACCNJ President and CEO John Harmon, Jr. said in his owned statement.
“I am outraged to hear that Black-owned businesses have been shut out of the state’s cannabis marketplace,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Black users are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white users, even though overall use for both groups is almost the same. New Jersey has a chance to correct this inequality and allow people abused by the system to finally benefit from it with a fair distribution of cannabis business licenses. Instead, we are seeing the same inequality with these licenses that we see in marijuana arrests.