Drug laws at the city, state, and federal levels have been used for almost a century to disproportionately punish people of color. Despite making up only 31.5% of the United States’ population, 46.9% of people arrested for violating drug laws are Black or Latino, and it’s never hard to find news stories of white offenders who get much more lenient sentences – if they’re punished at all.
Mary Pryor is working to change this. She’s the Chief Marketing Officer at Tonic CBD and Tricolla Farms, as well as the Co-Founder of Cannaclusive, a company created to facilitate fair representation of minority cannabis consumers. At Cannaclusive, she helps brands to communicate with diverse audiences and ensure that minority consumers are not an afterthought, but a valued ally in the fight for legalization and destigmatization.
Today, Mary joins the podcast to talk about the racism at the heart of American cannabis laws, how citizens can become activists and help her in her work to change these policies, and how both states and growing brands can help to build a more inclusive industry.
- What has led the cannabis industry to what Mary calls a “quarter-life crisis” – and what this will mean for many businesses as cannabis becomes more and more like a commodity.
- Why so many people turning massive profits from legal cannabis are white investors with intergenerational wealth – and how Mary is working to help minority entrepreneurs and investors increase awareness and grow as they build legal cannabusinesses.
- Why Mary thinks full federal legalization could come as soon as 2020.
“What you learned about cannabis from your grandma, your granddad, your aunt, your uncle, your mom, or your dad was by somebody else driving that narrative. We have to shake people out of that.” – Mary Pryor
“From Rockefeller laws to the war on drugs, the plant has been totally weaponized. It’s the main reason why it’s taking people forever to get over their own stigma and why stigma still exists.” – Mary Pryor
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