Former NBA All-Star Chris Webber, in partnership with JW Asset Management, is launching an equity fund to provide $100 million in support of entrepreneurs of color who are seeking to get involved in the cannabis industry.
The funds will assist with resources for research, marketing and retail for people of color in the cannabis industry. “It’s crucial that we diversify leadership within the cannabis industry and level the playing field for people from our communities,” Webber said in an official statement regarding the new fund. “For far too long, minorities have been excessively punished and incarcerated for cannabis while others profited. Working with JW, we will equip underrepresented entrepreneurs with the financial resources and industry knowledge to build businesses and thrive.”
“The legal cannabis industry can only grow to its full potential when all stakeholders have a seat at the table, and I feel that it is my responsibility to play an active role in eliminating barriers to entry for individuals that have been disproportionately targeted by the War on Drugs,” said Jason Wild, founder of JW Asset Management, regarding the new fund.
This will positively impact people of color who are interested in getting into the cannabis industry—a necessary move considering how minority representation is underrepresented in the currently a white-dominated industry. In addition, statistics show that people of color are disproportionately arrested for cannabis-related crimes.
In an official statement, Webber detailed that the goal behind this venture is to help close the gap between racial representation and the white status quo as the industry continues to grow.Thanks to the support of advocates like Webber, who want to make a difference in the cannabis industry, more light is being shone on the disadvantages people of color face in the industry and how they can be addressed.