Inclusivity and diversity in the cannabis sector is now being made possible with the help of one Black founder.
Founder of Uplift Maryland, Kevin Ford, created a platform that offers resources and training to create space for African Americans interested in getting into the medical marijuana field.
After exploring the medical market in various legalized states, he discovered the need to streamline information around the process. He also aims to break down the stigma surrounding the cannabis industry and create a community for those interested.
“Being a medical patient myself, I saw a void in the market for a clear source of information. I realized how complicated it could be to navigate the registration and certification process,” Ford said, according to Because of Them We Can. “With countless stigmas surrounding cannabis, I wanted to create a community where people are supplied with education, tools, and economic resources to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams in this very profitable industry.”
As the cannabis industry continues to expand with states decriminalizing and legalizing the drug for recreational and medical use, many Black entrepreneurs still face roadblocks that prevent them from getting into the business.
While Maryland is a closed market state which prevents Uplift from offering their full range of services, Ford and his team continue to lobby on behalf of the cannabis sector and position themselves at the top of the conversations.
“The only way to overcome these issues is to create more opportunities or relocate to an area where that opportunity exists. [By lobbying], people who benefit from cannabis or have been oppressed by unjust drug policies can be included in these crucial conversations of legalization,” Ford said, according to Because of Them We Can.
Shoutout to Ford for breaking barriers to create space for Black entrepreneurs in yet another space that wants to prevent our advancement.