The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act is said to be considered by Congress “soon”. NORML indicates this may be considered by the spring. The organization also indicates that the bill is undergoing so many changes and riders its original intention may differ greatly from the finished product.
A major component of the MORE Act is the idea of investing in marginalized communities. Inherent in the creation of this bill was the understanding that minorities, specifically African Americans, and people living in marginalized communities have been historically affected by cannabis legislation. The majority of people that get arrested for marijuana possession are African American and/or of lower socioeconomic means.
The MORE Act is designed to re-invest funds from legal state sponsored cannabis sales into as such described communities. Sponsors have talked about job training, entry into the cannabis industry, grants, and/or educational opportunities. Critics of changes the bill may be undergoing point to riders and loopholes so that corporate entities have advantages while people with past records may be excluded as the marijuana moment has reported.
Then steps in Jay-z. Regardless of what the MORE Act does in this country Jigga is putting his money where his mouth and heart is. Conversationsabouther.net reports that Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z is launching an investment group for minorities entrepreneurs to enter the industry. Jay-Z is investing 10 million dollars initially and indicates he will supplement the investment with 2% of his net income annually.
A 2017 survey by Marijuana Business Daily found that over 80% of cannabis business owners were white. Only 4.3% were African-American. I do not know if that number includes black faces as a cover for white businesses. Jay-Z stated, “We were the ones most negatively affected by the war on drugs, and America has turned around and created a business from it that’s worth billions” as he told the Wall Street Journal.
Jay-Z plans to invest $1 million dollars directly into cannabis start-ups he chooses to support. People with resources and business acumen can do more for any community than passing a federal or local bill. We will see how Jay-Z’s dealings fare… Good work Mr. Carter!