As states continue to legalize cannabis, the weed industry has experienced a huge boom among entrepreneurs looking to get into the lucrative space. As Essence previously reported, CBD and THC are being widely productized, with billions of investment dollars funneling into marijuana-based startups across the country. In 2020 alone, the U.S. cannabis industry generated about $61B.  

Sadly, despite growing support, the industry has largely been gatekept from BIPOC entrepreneurs, particularly Black women. Refinery29 pointed out that Black-owned cannabis businesses are rare,  because it is still incredibly difficult and expensive to enter, particularly if you’re actually growing cannabis. Vice media pointed out that only 40% of Black women think that, by 2030, anyone — regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity or social standing — will be able to safely produce and sell cannabis products. 

That’s why we’d be remiss if on 4/20/22 we didn’t celebrate the Black women that are lighting up (pun intended) the cannabis industry despite the hurdles.