Thursday, October 14, 2021

The report highlights the current underrepresentation of Hispanics in the industry, the barriers they face, and opportunities for improvement.

DENVER — The National Hispanic Cannabis Council unveiled Thursday a first-ever report on Hispanics in the Cannabis Industry report detailing the “State of the Hispanic Cannabis Industry in the U.S.” The inaugural report, authored by Nucleus One, a leading cannabis industry and business management consulting firm, delivers an informative overview of Hispanic engagement in the industry and the challenges and opportunities currently facing Hispanic businesses and individuals.

The report found that Hispanics are underrepresented in every segment of the legal cannabis industry in the U.S., which is expected to top $30 billion by 2024. For example, Hispanics make up 18.7% of the population, but own only 5.7% of licensed cannabis businesses. The report details the range of barriers Hispanics face at every level of government, including high costs of entry and access to business licenses.

“The report findings reveal a strong need to support Hispanics interested in the industry with financing (and the necessary financial education), networking, and coaching, to empower Hispanics and help them clear regulatory hurdles.” said Antonio Valdez, Executive Director, National Hispanic Cannabis Council. “The implications of the research validates our efforts to provide tools for Hispanics interested in the legal cannabis industry. We are currently building out resources for these Hispanic entrepreneurs around financial preparedness and industry guidance.”

The study also found a tremendous amount of opportunity for Hispanics to participate in the booming industry. Job opportunities can exist across the full industry value chain. Beyond job creation, fostering Hispanic entrepreneurship and business ownership is critical to sharing in the economic benefits of cannabis. A National Hispanic Cannabis Council survey of a diverse sample of Hispanics active in the U.S. cannabis industry reveals that there are many ways to promote access to entrepreneurship and business opportunities for Hispanics in the industry. There are already success stories and role models in the industry but much remains to be done in terms of financial and business education to create a level playing field in the industry.

“Opportunities abound in the adult-use and medical segments of the industry across the states and Hispanics respondents interviewed remain optimistic about their ability to pursue them. In that regard, social equity programs are popular and are expected to have a positive impact for Hispanics, but they are not perceived as the most important resource needed by Hispanics,” said Valdez. These insights and much more are included in the full report.

The NHCC was founded by cannabis business leaders representing a variety of prominent companies, including Cresco Labs; Flora & Forge; Moxie; Trulieve; Vicente Sederberg LLP. Green Thumb Industries, Eaze, Curio Wellness, Pyramid and Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr LLP. It is governed by a national board of directors.