Dec 1 (Reuters) – Maryland’s largest medical cannabis producer Curio Wellness said on Tuesday it was launching a $30 million fund that would invest in up to 50 businesses backed by women, minorities and disabled veteran entrepreneurs.
Legal cannabis producers in the United States have faced scrutiny for being predominantly run by white men, an issue that is present across industries but is more evident in the cannabis business.
The impact that the regulation on marijuana has had historically on minorities should factor into the debate on who benefits from the legalization of it, Curio WMBE Fund Llc’s managing director Jerel Registre said in an interview.
A 2019 survey by cannabis media firm Marijuana Business Daily showed minorities owned just 1.2% of the recreational marijuana businesses in Massachusetts, well below the 11.5% minority ownership of traditional businesses in the state.
Women, meanwhile, owned 4.7% of the state’s recreational marijuana businesses, the survey showed.
Registre said Curio’s fund would give interested applicants capital in the form of loans and equity financing to set up a franchise in Maryland. (Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)