Race, diversity, and Black ownership in the cannabis industry: A conversation with SC Labs CEO Jeff Gray
Brandon Dorfman, Pot Network.
“Cannabis is a term; cannabis is a plant,” said Jeff Gray in an early morning conversation with The PotNetwork. Gray is the CEO of SC Labs, which stands for Science of Cannabis, and is one of the few African American executives in an industry that’s fallen way too short on its promises of social equity. “From a scientific perspective, it is truly an amazing plant in terms of what it produces and the amounts of these compounds that it produces.”
“What it’s been used for by the people who have the power in order to control has changed,” he continued.
Today, some of the people who make money in the legal cannabis trade are the same forces that made marijuana central to the drug war so many years ago, he said. To Gray, that idea is critical toward understanding the industry’s current climate. And it’s an issue with historical blame on both sides of the political aisle.
Economic equality is also critically important in the industry because without it getting into this industry is like starting a Monopoly game and somebody already owns half the property — the disadvantage is on you
– Jeff Gray, Co-Founder and CEO, SC Labs
“The prominence of cannabis even in the anti-war movement, in communities of color … as a tool to put people — to incarcerate people, that was the way that they were probably going to make the most money at that time,” said Gray, discussing the corporate landscape of the past 50 years.
“And now, there’s a different opportunity to make money,” he continued, remarking upon the corporate infiltration of legal cannabis. “So, let’s change it up.”
Gray was born in Gardena and grew up in California, where the atmosphere around cannabis was always…
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