There is an urgent need for Black Americans to inform themselves of the business opportunities surrounding cannabis, senior pastor Anthony Trufant of the Emmanuel Baptist Church told the attendees at the Business of Cannabis summit held in Brooklyn, New York, last week, reports NBC News. Late last year, Our Weekly offered a cover story o n the growing number of states that have legalized cannabis and the billions of dollars in revenue it’s providing state coffers. The focus was on celebrities that are launching their own brands to get in on the growing revenue that’s being generated. And now, more and more stories are cropping up about the business of weed and how African Americans need to get in on it. The summit in New York was attended by about 1,000 people, mostly people of color, who listened to leaders in the medical, business and social justice fields that work with cannabis. Black communities in New York have been convening on how the business and politics of the cannabis industry will impact them, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushes to legalize recreational marijuana for adults older than the age of 21 by the end of 2019. Last year, Cannaclusive, an organization advocating for diversity and inclusion in the marijuana industry, held events in New York City to educate others about cannabis use and investment opportunities. “It is a matter of economic justice,” Trufant said at the Emmanuel Baptist Church summit Feb. 23. “There are opportunities for investment, for employment and for microbusiness. Last but not least, it is a matter of political justice.” In New York City, a 2018 New York Times article found that Black people were arrested eight times more than White non-Hispanic people for low-level possession in the past three years. Trufant and other speakers stressed the need for the records of those with nonviolent marijuana offenses to be expunged. Panelists encouraged attendees to call their local politicians to express their concern. “This war on drugs has far too long been a war on people of color and a war on poor Americans and that’s mostly impacted my brothers, sons, fathers and my friends,” N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James said. The event consisted of panel discussions about how to acquire a cultivation or dispensary license, the medical benefits of cannabis, and social justice and policy reform. On the medical benefits panel, Black doctors and medical practitioners dispelled the myth that marijuana is a “gateway drug” and explained how it can directly benefit Black patients. “We recognize that in a time when there are soaring health care prices, that cannabis is really a matter of protection for people who are suffering from cancer and other ailments,” Trufant said.