ImpactAlpha, December 3 — Cannabis revenues in the U.S. could reach $50 billion by 2026. Blacks and other people of color risk being shut out of the “green boom,” in part because of disproportionate rates of conviction on earlier marijuana-related charges (see, “‘Inclusive cannabis’ investors apply a racial equity lens to a high-flying industry”).
Baltimore-based Curio Wellness is trying to get more women, veterans and people of color into the growing U.S. cannabis industry. To do that, the company is launching a $30 million fund to help 50 diverse entrepreneurs launch medical marijuana businesses in multiple states, as banks remain reluctant to lend to cannabis founders.
“The fund will expand diversity and enable economic empowerment for entrepreneurs who otherwise would be locked out of the rapidly growing field,” said Curio’s Jerel Registre.
The Curio fund will provide up to 93% of the capital to open a Curio dispensary, plus resources to manage the business for the first three years, after which founders would be able to claim full ownership. Applications will open early next year.