By Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation
Former Portland Trail Blazers player, Antonio Harvey, is actively pushing for greater equity in the cannabis industry as noted in an interview with KATU. Harvey, now a cannabis entrepreneur, emphasizes the need for more diversity and inclusion. He points out the complex and resource-intensive process of obtaining a cannabis license as a significant barrier and highlights the numerous steps involved, including the Land Use Compatibility Survey (LUCS) and detailed business plans. The more complicated and burdensome the business requirements becomes the more it makes it more attractive to move towards an illegal market where there are no restrictions and taxes whatsoever.
The City of Portland has awarded millions of City tax dollars to various cannabis businesses (with these awards often noted by elected officials for targeting minority owners).
Unlike many other voices, Harvey emphasizes the importance of transitioning people away from harmful substances to the benefits of cannabis.
View the KATU interview below:
It should be noted that the support for more cannabis businesses is a different path than the national trend of most black entrepreneurs choosing the fields of health care and professional services (hi-tech, science). Is government picking winners and losers or is government helping to remove barriers of inequality?