In a interview from the Hollywood Reporter, Snoop Dogg talks about who is benefitting from the legal cannabis industry. He advocates for those “who were actually there before it was legal”, that they should be the ones proftting the most.
Snoop is generally happy about the legalisation of cannabis, saying that “It’s cool. For the government to actually allow us to make money off of it and not go to jail is some cool shit”. However that doesn’t mean the world famous rapper had no issues. He went onto say, “I just feel like they’ve got to really go back and release everybody that’s in jail for marijuana if you’re going to make it legal”.
Snoop continues, “Imagine drug dealers — I call these street vendors — could position themselves. They would also stand to make a lot of cash. It’s difficult for Black men and people with criminal records to get licenses, to open dispensaries. They have put so many obstacles in front of us that it becomes an industry that is not for us. But we promote it, buy it and make it what it is.”
Snoop himself, despite being a long time customer in the industry, has never had to deal with such issues. His cannabis brand, Leafs by Snoop, was launched in 2015 to great success.
The rapper explained that “from the first time you heard my song, that’s all i’ve been pushing. It’s not a political move. My voice is all that I use when it’s necessary. It sounds political but it isn’t. Sometimes they are unable to speak so it is my job to speak on their behalf.”
Some are concerned that the cannabis industry is not as accessible to some as it to others, particularly those of color. People of color own less than 10% of the businesses in this industry.
“Everybody will be able do what the wealthy people are doing. Then the rich people will have to get back in their lane to continue doing their regular business and getting the fuck outta our business.”
Snoop claims that the people who were there before it was legal should get the first opportunity. Not those with the most money who had no interest until now, when but the people who tried to find ways of creating and building themselves before it was legalised. It’s a backwards way to do it. I believe it will change in the future because it’s so easy.
Snoop adds, “The millionaires have to understand that when you jump into our world, you’ve got to compensate us. You can’t just steal our shit and think we’re going to sit back and take that. We ain’t that generation. We feel like hip-hop and the culture in general, from jazz music to right now, has helped cannabis become most infamous for what it is. Willie Nelson, Cheech & Chong, Snoop Dogg, look at the cultures that are connected to these people that I just named and how they bring the whole world together and who they are. Their people should be the ones who benefit from this, not the big billionaire companies that come in and buy up all the licenses and then make us slave for them for something that we created, just like the music industry and the movie industry.”
Many Black musicians have been able to start their own labels and have more control over their careers and finances than the corporate labels. With a rise in popularity, the same thing is happening with cannabis.
“The music industry was fucked up for many years until certain people came in and showed people that you can have your own label, you could own your own shit, you could run your own business. That created a different industry, which made the industry more of a Black-owned industry. Now these young men have labels and artists and million-dollar corporations based off of them owning their shit and being able to tell the major label, ‘No, this is what the deal is. You’re not telling me, I’m telling you.'”
Snoop’s latest album, ‘From the Streets to the Suites‘, hit shelves April 20th, otherwise known as 420, the unofficial cannabis holiday. The recrod released on Snoop’s very own Doggy Style Records.