In 2021, Saint #Louis, #MO elected #Tishaura Jones as its #mayor, the first #Black #woman to hold that office in the city’s history. Other Black women like Marne Madison are working hard to build the #SaintLouis they want to see. Marne is the #Executive #Director for Exit-Now, a not-for-profit organization advocating for minorities to get the training and education necessary to enter the cannabis industry.
Exit-Now is partnering with licensed cannabis #vendors and education programs across the country to help break the glass barriers preventing #minorities from entering the cannabis industry. As Madison explains, “the war on drugs, which led to mass incarcerations in minority communities for non-violent offenses, and a now-legal industry that is too often out-of-reach for these same communities.” Exit-Now’s fundamental belief is that “#communities most impacted by the war on drugs should not continue to suffer while large corporations’ profit, and their progress hasn’t been made alone. The organization has brought on Saint Louis #University as its main partner to bring this initiative to life. Through the university’s Cannabis Science and Operations program, Exit and #SLU have created the Equity-Now #scholarship to create more diversity and inclusion in the local cannabis workforce and the Round-Up for Equity initiative, giving Cannabis patients and consumers the opportunity to round-up purchases at #dispensaries to help provide cannabis industry education for minorities. Each #penny collected at dispensaries will go directly to the Equity-Now scholarship fund at SLU. Swade Dispensaries is the first in the state to participate. With five medical marijuana dispensaries in #Missouri, Swade is stepping up to play a role that’s been vacant in the state so far.