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Growing pot industry offers breaks to entice minorities

OAKLAND (AP) — Some cities and states with legal pot are trying to make up for the toll drug enforcement took on minorities by giving them a better shot at joining the marijuana industry.

Voters in Massachusetts approved a recreational pot question that was the first to include language encouraging participation in the industry by people who were “disproportionately harmed” by marijuana laws.

Ohio’s medical marijuana law sets aside 15 percent of licenses for minority businesses. License applicants in Pennsylvania must include a plan that spells out how they will achieve racial equity.

Supporters of the efforts say legalization enriches mostly white people but not the minorities who have been arrested far more often.

Recreational pot is now legal in eight states and the nation’s capital. Medical marijuana is permitted in 29 states.

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