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Rap and business mogul, Jay-Z, has launched a new investment fund with the intentions to help expand the ever growing number of minority marijuana entrepreneurs. The cannabis industry has been booming over the last several years and the opportunities for minorities are endless. But as the story often goes, minorities don’t always have the funds to create their own businesses.
The Brooklyn native seeks to help diversify the legal marijuana industry by investing in minority-owned cannabis firms. Jay hopes to help change the narrative for marginalized groups who have been notoriously penalized by the U.S. government.
“We were the ones most negatively affected by the war on drugs, and America has turned around and created a business from it that’s worth billions,” Jay-Z has said.
More than 30 U.S. states currently have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use. According to The Wall Street Journal, the marijuana business is worth about $20 billion and is expected to grow larger than the $70 billion wine by the year 2030.
Minorities, however, are still at a disadvantage trying to break through the industry. In a 2017 survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily, 81% of cannabis business owners and founders were white compared to 4.3% black business owners and founders.
Jay-Z’s new initiative, the Social Equity Ventures Fund, will give $1 million to selected minority-owned cannabis companies.