NBA All-Star Chris Webber has partnered with JW Asset Management to launch a $100m private equity fund that will invest in companies led by entrepreneurs of colour working in the cannabis sector.
The pair will collaborate to invest in underrepresented entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry and provide them with resources that will help them grow their business.
Four in five (80%) cannabis businesses are owned by white people, according to a report from Marijuana Business Daily, while less than 10 per cent are owned by Black and Hispanic people.
The partnership aims to address the racial disparities and provide entrepreneurs of colour access to an industry expected to be worth $130bn by 2024.
“As our country moves closer to federal legalisation, I believe it is more important than ever to empower the next generation of cannabis leaders in a tangible way,” said Webber.
“For far too long, minorities have been excessively punished and incarcerated for cannabis while others profited. Working with JW, we will equip underrepresented entrepreneurs with the financial resources and industry knowledge to build businesses and thrive.”
JW Asset Management founder and chief investment officer Jason Wild added: “The legal cannabis industry can only grow to its full potential when all stakeholders have a seat at the table, and I feel that it is my responsibility to play an active role in eliminating barriers to entry for individuals that have been disproportionately targeted by the War on Drugs.”