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Nevada's cannabis businesses lack racial diversity in ownership

Posted at 8:09 PM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 01:49:04-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV)  — Marijuana is a big business in Nevada, but some say an important segment of the population is missing.

With consumption lounges opening later this year, new rules could mean the times are changing.

The Nevada Wellness Center dispensary could soon be operating a consumption lounge.

For owner Frank Hawkins it is a big deal because he's the only black business owner in the cannabis industry in Nevada.

"We are the first and only black 100% owned dispensary in the state of Nevada." Said Hawkins.

The cannabis industry is flush with opportunity but some believe diversity is missing.

Frank Hawkins, a Black entrepreneur, former city councilman, and Las Vegas Raiders player is one of only a few who has opened the door to the billion-dollar industry in the silver state.

But now there's an opportunity to expand to other minority owners after new regulations were approved by the Nevada Cannabis Compliance board for consumption lounges.

With the new regulations, the board will review social equity applicants meaning those who have past non-violent cannabis arrests or convictions or have relatives for which such offenses will be considered.