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Black Ownership in the Hemp Industry

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in hemp as a sustainable and profitable crop. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp at the federal level, and states have begun to legalize and regulate the cultivation and sale of hemp.


African Americans have long been underrepresented in the hemp industry, despite the fact that the plant has a rich history in the African American community. Hemp was a major cash crop for many African American farmers in the early 20th century, and it was used to make everything from rope to clothing. However, the criminalization of marijuana in the 1930s dealt a major blow to the hemp industry, and many African American farmers were forced out of business.


Black ownership in the hemp industry is low. According to a report from the Minority Cannabis Business Association, African Americans own just 4% of hemp businesses in the United States. This is in stark contrast to the marijuana industry, where African Americans own an estimated 18% of businesses.

There are several reasons for this disparity. One of the biggest barriers to entry in the hemp industry is the high cost of starting a business. Hemp cultivation requires specialized equipment and knowledge, and many African American farmers lack the resources to get started. Additionally, the lack of access to capital and financial assistance can make it difficult for African American entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground.


Overcoming


Despite these challenges, there are a growing number of African American entrepreneurs who are breaking into the hemp industry. These individuals are using their businesses to not only create economic opportunities for themselves and their communities, but also to promote sustainability and social justice.

Dr. Kofi Boone


One example is Dr. Kofi Boone, a landscape architect and professor at North Carolina State University. Dr. Boone founded the Hemp History Research Project, a non-profit organization that works to educate people about the history of hemp and its potential as a sustainable crop. He is also the co-founder of HempX, a company that produces hemp-based products and provides education and training on hemp cultivation.


Dr. Gwen Schanke


Another example is Dr. Gwen Schanke, a physician and hemp advocate who is working to promote the use of hemp as a natural alternative to traditional medicine. Dr. Schanke is the founder of Hemp Health Revolution, a company that produces hemp-based supplements and other products.


These are just a few examples of the many African American entrepreneurs who are making an impact in the hemp industry. While there is still a long way to go in terms of increasing African American ownership in the industry, these individuals are helping to pave the way for greater diversity and inclusion.



The Final Take


These are just a few examples of the many African American entrepreneurs who are making an impact in the hemp industry. While there is still a long way to go in terms of increasing African American ownership in the industry, these individuals are helping to pave the way for greater diversity and inclusion.


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