Enticed by promises they could start cannabis companies, people of color are still waitingPosted by On

Marcy Lyles, a single mother of three boys, has been trying to break into the cannabis business for a while now.

She is black, low-income and a resident of the Crenshaw area, which makes her a perfect candidate for the city’s cannabis social equity program, designed to give the people and places most affected by the misbegotten war on drugs a piece of the potentially lucrative cannabis business.

And yet on Tuesday, she wept in frustration as she recounted the slow pace of the city’s licensing program. She and eight others in the same predicament had gathered in a vacant storefront on Crenshaw Boulevard to talk to me about their experiences.

It’s been more than two years since the Los Angeles City Council passed its first ordinances regulating the newly legal cannabis business, and still, no social equity licenses have been granted.

“We’re sitting here and we are really begging,” said Lyles, 46,
wiping away tears. “They said they were going to protect us. We accepted the…

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