A Brooklyn church aspires to diversify the cannabis industry by talking frankly about marijuana.
According to local news outlet Pix 11, the Emanuel Baptist Church in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, hosted a cannabis conference Saturday to change the demographics of the industry Black people should dominate.
White, young and hopeful weed entrepreneurs are making millions with marijuana products out west, while Black and brown people are sitting behind bars for small quantities of the same plant. The gap between Black and white has never been more evident.
Spearheaded by Rev. Anthony Trufant, the senior pastor of the historic Emmanuel Baptist Church (EBC), the conference served as a meeting place for those interested in making money in the lucrative weed industry.
“No one would have anticipated that we would have a conversation in a worship space about ‘weed!'” Pastor Trufant told conference-goers. “We are known to be risk-takers.”
Attendees learned from a variety of experts in different fields through a series of panels.
The Source Magazine reports an estimated 500 people attended the conference.
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"There have been a lot of injustices that have happened to communities of color, and so for us, we want to work with our advocates and our governments to make sure we are correcting the injustices that have happened in the past,” Gia Morón of Women Grow told Pix 11.
Experts who knew how to acquire licenses to grow marijuana were present. There were also experts specializing in starting a business or getting a job in the cannabis industry. And even parenting and cannabis experts.
Additionally, there were several other panels on strategizing how to get nationwide and statewide cannabis legalization. Social justice and policy reform were critical components of many of them.
Among the attendees were high-profile local politicians such as Congressman Hakeem Jefferies (D), New York State Attorney General Letitia James (D) and others who want to get Black and brown people out of prison and into the dispensaries.
"Too often is the case that communities of color — and Black communities in particular — are left at the station while the train of economic opportunity pulls out," Trufant told PIX 11.
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