Marijuana business owners and board members in Nevada are disproportionately white and male, while the industry workforce is made up of a greater proportion of people of color, according to a new demographic report on the state’s cannabis industry.
Tyler Klimas, executive director of the Cannabis Compliance board, said there is an issue with the lack of diversity in the industry and that the report could potentially help with creating new license types aimed at social equity, including licenses for social consumption lounges, which will be discussed during the legislative session.
“If something like that moves forward, then that right there is an opportunity to to bring some new people into the industry and focus on diversity if we’re going to issue new license types,” said Klimas.
Klimas also said that the first subcommittee of the Cannabis Advisory Commission he will appoint will be one focused on social equity, diversity and inclusion. He added that that committee will draw from best practices from other states and work to figure out what steps will help increase diversity in the industry.
The report, released by the board at the end of January and required by AB533 from the 2019 session, found that 73 percent of license owners, managers and board members identified as male, while 65 percent of that group identified as white.
The Census Bureau estimates that 48 percent of Nevadans are White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, and that 29 percent of Nevadans are of Hispanic or Latino origin, whereas only 16 percent of owners, managers and board members identified as being of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.
“What was sort of striking was the lack of diversity in some of the leadership levels,” Layke Martin, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said in an interview. “And it shows that we have a lot of