African American farmers in Florida are criticizing the state’s marijuana cultivation laws, saying they exclude the black community from the cannabis business, according to a recent article in High Times,. Florida’s law states that only farms that have been in operation for over 30 years and produce over 400,000 plants may be eligible to become one of the few certified dispensaries to the state’s patients.
Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association president Howard Gunn says there isn’t a single member of the black farming community who can meet those requirements, and not one of the 99 regulated marijuana farms in Florida is run by a black farmer.
30 years ago, the BFAA locked itself in a lawsuit regarding discrimination with the Department of Agriculture because there were claims that the agency was not giving them the same consideration as they were to their white counterparts. A $1.3 billion dollar settlement was reached, but many of the people who did make a claim say they have already been driven out of business while waiting for the reparations.
Gunn appeared before the Senate Health Policy Community last week, where he suggested that the state has gone back to old school discrimination methods with the new THC law.