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New Weed-focused Podcast Will Make Social Equity a "High Priority"

The hosts hope to highlight the voices and experiences of other people of color in the cannabis industry.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the biggest topics in cannabis today is how to make the industry more equitable. With weed going from being taboo to a super profitable legit product sold in legal dispensaries around the country, it’s a booming business. Sales are through the roof, it’s opening up thousands of jobs across the country, and states are seeing tax dollars roll in, with more and more adding legalization bills to take advantage of all the good.

Some say that’s a blessing. Others see this as a time to right many wrongs.

Enter “High Priority,” a new podcast that examines the lasting impact of pot prohibition, and how public and private social equity measures are shaping the future of the industry. Produced by MATTIO Communications, one of the longest-running and the largest cannabis marketing services firm, and hosted by two cannabis mavens, Alexis Dionne and Chelsea, the podcast dives deep into many pressing issues today with brand founders, policy advocates, investors, and historians. 

RELATED: 3 Women Who Are Trailblazing Social Equity Programs

Keep the conversations going

While the cannabis industry is flying high, there are still a lot of disparities. People of color, particularly Black people, have been disproportionately targeted by law enforcement for possessing, consuming or selling cannabis, and they’re still being shut out of the space. Social equity programs on the state and federal level need to center around inclusion of communities of color in every aspect, from cultivation to consulting. 

Alexis Dionne and Chelsea, public relations professionals in the cannabis industry, as well as women of color, want to usher along and broaden the conversations that will hopefully bring about change for BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and disabled professionals. Upcoming interviews include conversations with 40 Tons, Marijuana Policy Project, Lantern, Our Academy and other brands and organizations committed to creating a more equitable business community.

“We're excited to be a part of the social equity conversation in cannabis, especially as women of color ourselves,” Alexis Dionne says. “We want to use our platform to drive awareness and support for cannabis brand owners from under-represented communities. And we're grateful that MATTIO Communications has given us the opportunity to do that through the High Priority podcast."

RELATED: Marshawn Lynch Launches Apprenticeship Program For Former Pot Prisoners

"High Priority" is part of the MATTIO Voices initiative, which consists of three pillars: a pro bono program which offers at least one quarter of PR services to entrepreneurs of color or social equity licensees; High Priority, a free platform that enables brands and reputable nonprofits to reach wider audiences; and ongoing fundraising for nonprofits focused on addressing the harm perpetuated by the War on Drugs, including the Last Prisoner Project.

New episodes of the podcast are available every Tuesday on Apple, Spotify and all major podcast platforms.