Effort to help minorities find work in cannabis industry

It’s not the typical event you’d expect to see when walking into a place of worship. But here in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Emmanuel Baptist Church is shaking things up.

“Too many cases communities of color seem to be left at the station while the train of opportunity pulls out. So this is an instance to talk about and inform our community, our constituency on cannabis,” said Reverend Rev. AnthonyL. Trufant.

Medical professionals and cannabis entrepreneurs have joined forces to host this conference called “The Business of Cannabis.”

The goal— to help people of color enter the legal cannabis and hemp industry.

“Right now we are seeing a lot of white men leading this industry, for an industry that in the illegal market sent a lot of black and brown people to jail,” said Gia Morón with the organization Women Grow. Taylor Aldredge is trying to change that reality.

He started a company that helps workers find gigs within the cannabis industry. They can even work remotely from home, like graphic designers or accountants. “It’s something like 70 or 80% of cannabis companies specifically are owned by white men,” Aldredge said.

“My platform is about equity in cannabis. It allows people to get hired no matter where they are and we wanted to be in New York as cannabis was being legalized, as it’s coming online, to support the community here.”

Although recreational marijuana use is not legal here in New York, Governor Cuomo has been pushing for it.

In the meantime, the organizers of this event hope minority groups will now feel more empowered to join the legal medical marijuana industry.