California, Florida Among States Offering Breaks to Nonwhite Marijuana Business Owners

In West Virginia, a new law includes a provision that requires regulators to encourage minority-owned business owners to apply for growing licenses. (Photo by Heath Korvola/ Digital Vision/Getty Images)

In some states that have legalized marijuana, officials are trying to entice nonwhite citizens to join the cannabis industry with breaks aimed at making up for the toll unequal drug enforcement has taken on Black and brown communities.

So far, the booming industry has overwhelmingly line the pockets of white cannabis sellers.

In 2007, Oakland, Calif., resident Andre Shavers was sentenced to five years’ felony probation after authorities raided his home in one of the most heavily policed neighborhoods and found a quarter ounce of marijuana, the Associated Press reported. The raid left Shavers unable to leave the state without permission and made him subject to police searches at any time.

Meanwhile, marijuana dispensaries flourished in the city...

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