It’s no secret California Medical Marijuana Industry is way over a billion dollar industry. It’s probably also not a secret that it’s predominantly a white industry. It’s refreshing to see San Francisco’s Local NAACP endorse Ms. Tikisha Ong’s application for a dispensary.
According to SF weekly there are 28 dispensaries in the Bay and 5 of them are owned by minorities ( Russians are included in the minority count). 30 year old Ms. Ong plans to open her dispensary near the Daly City border.
A copy of the letter NAACP Leader Rev. Amos Brown submitted to the San Francisco Planning commision is below:
Speaking for myself as president of the San Francisco NAACP and on behalf of the full membership of our
organization, I enthusiastically endorse Ms. Tikisha Ong and urge you to support her efforts to bring much-needed African American community representation to the city’s medical cannabis industry.
Ms. Ong exemplifies the traits of a community and business leader. We are confident the establishment of GGC will do more than revitalize a long-neglected corner in an underdeveloped part of our city. It will also open career pathways for African Americans in a burgeoning industry where we find ourselves woefully underrepresented.
The California State Conference NAACP has supported legalizing marijuana, since 2010. Our organization sees cannabis prohibition as a civil rights issue, and with good reason. As state NAACP president Alice Huffman, said: “We have empirical proof that the application of the marijuana laws has been unfairly applied to our young people of color.”
The cruel irony is that African Americans are disproportionately affected by the criminalization of marijuana but also excluded from the economic opportunities presented by its decriminalization. Even in a city like San Francisco that prides itself on a governing philosophy of racial equality and inclusion, we see yet another lucrative industry growing without almost no input from our community — another table we are not invited to sit at.
We are pleased to endorse the sincere efforts of Ms. Ong. Not only her efforts to provide cannabis patients access to affordable, high-quality medicine, or her pledges to provide free health & education services to the
neighborhood and support underserved seniors with medicine delivery. We are also proud to endorse her crucial individual effort in the larger fight to reinvigorate the African American business community and reverse the toxic legacy of prohibition in African American neighborhoods.
It’s time for women of color like Ms. Ong to have a voice in this growing industry. We urge you to approve GGC as a licensed MCD without delay.
We are rooting for you Tikisha Ong!
Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Lurie SF Examiner and Letter courtesy of Chris Roberts and the SF weekly: See full article here