The state of Colorado is getting closer to its target goal of 16.8% minority ownership of licenses, reaching 16.4% on the November 2021 demographic report from the Marijuana Enforcement Division.
The November number is a jump over June 2021’s baseline of 15.2%. The MED began aggregating demographic information in April 2021 with the goal of reaching 16.8% minority ownership by June 2022.
As of November 2021, the state has approved 37 social equity licenses, with 11 issued in October alone.
Despite the gains, the state’s cannabis industry is still dominated by white males, with Caucasians holding 83.6% of the 1,631 licenses. According to census data, Colorado’s population is 86.9% white. Further analysis shows 2.8% of license owners are Black, 7.7% are Hispanic/Latino and 3.9% are Asian.
On the gender side of the equation, women hold 19% of ownership licenses (350), compared to 1,508 licenses held by men.
The MED also released information on employees, showing that whites account for 68.8% of employee licenses, compared to 6.1% who self-report as Black, and 17.0% for those who self-report as Hispanic/Latino. However, approximately 45% of employee license holders did not disclose an ethnicity. Women account for 39% of employee licenses and the state reports 75 self-reported non-binary employee license holders.
— Brian Beckley