10-18-2017  10:24 pm      •     
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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

African-American women shopping at a dispensary
By Bernie Foster | The Skanner News

Last year, when Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana, our state made history. Now we have new and exciting business opportunities and challenges.

Oregon has to build a fair, safe and ethical marijuana business from scratch. From seed to plant— or to plate, in the case of pot brownies.

There are no tried and tested models. This is new. We need to get it right. And it must benefit all of Oregon’s diverse communities.

Oregon’s new recreational marijuana industry brings opportunities for ownership as well as for employment. There are opportunities to invest, to start up a company and yes even make profits.

That’s why licenses to grow and sell marijuana must be shared widely so they benefit all of Oregon’s diverse communities. We can’t just let out-of-state corporations push out our local, small, women and minority entrepreneurs. Business as usual will not work. 

These are not fishing licenses, folks. These are like radio and television operators’ licenses — like our airwaves — exclusive and valuable. 

Marijuana businesses are going to be heavily regulated. They will need to spend money on security, high-quality equipment, buildings and insurance. That will take more than a few George Washingtons.

Communities of color face barriers to building wealth, mostly because we’ve been denied it from birth. Our communities are full of people with energy, enterprise and vision. But too often, they simply lack the capital to meet licensing requirements – alone, that is. 

Oregon should promote joint ventures that allow investors from all kinds of diverse communities to meet licensing requirements.

Are you on board, Gov. Kate Brown? 

Are you on board, OLCC?

Governor Brown: This is on your watch.  This is a great opportunity for all.

We’re supposed to be the trailblazers here. This is our chance to show how it’s done. Let’s rise to the occasion. 

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