Creating opportunities for the community!
One Maryland man has created a new platform focused on increasing diversity and inclusion in the cannabis sector, Black Enterprise reports.
Kevin Ford is the founder of Uplift Maryland, a platform offering training and resources for African-Americans interested in getting into the medical marijuana field. While exploring the medical market in various legalized states, he realized he needed to streamline information around the process, create community for those interested and break down the stigma surrounding the cannabis industry if there was ever going to be a chance for more Black owners in the field.
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As of today, cannabis is legal for medicinal use in 33 states plus the District of Columbia. Despite most State’s decriminalization and legalization of medical and/or adult-use/recreational sales, cannabis users still face ramifications at the federal level such as prosecution and incarceration. It’s time for change The MORE Act passed in a 24-10 vote with the House Judiciary Committee in November. If it passes through the House, it will move to Senate If it passes the House, it will likely sit on Mitch McConnell’s desk like many other important bills before it. This year’s election is important, be sure to REGISTER AND VOTE IN NOVEMBER! #VOTE At Uplift, we believe it’s time to build a country where cannabis doesn't have negative connotations. Where Black and Brown people are provided the same opportunities as our white counterparts. For years, our community has been oppressed and over policed by unjust drug policies. The MORE Act is a great step in the right direction to putting an end to the war on drugs and put America, as a whole, on a path towards safe and affordable access. #cannabis #marijuana #decriminalization #cannabiscommunity #cannabisculture #news #currentevents #fortheculture #socialequity #progress
“Being a medical patient myself, I saw a void in the market for a clear source of information. I realized how complicated it could be to navigate the registration and certification process. With countless stigmas surrounding cannabis, I wanted to create a community where people are supplied with education, tools, and economic resources to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams in this very profitable industry. I also wanted to redefine a commodity that is still deemed illegal and incarcerates so many Black men, and turn it into a positive for our community by providing [an] education of opportunity, especially to those who have been marginalized by oppressive and unjust drug policies,” Ford said.
While the cannabis industry has expanded over the last couple of years with many states legalizing or decriminalizing the drug for medical and recreational use, many Black entrepreneurs have hit roadblocks preventing them from getting into the business. While Maryland is a closed market state preventing the full range of services Uplift has to offer, Ford and his team have begun lobbying on behalf of the cannabis sector, positioning themselves at the forefront of the conversations.
“The only way to overcome these issues is to create more opportunities or relocate to an area where that opportunity exists. [By lobbying], people who benefit from cannabis or have been oppressed by unjust drug policies can be included in these crucial conversations of legalization,” Ford added.
For more information about Uplift Maryland, visit their site here.