By Mike Plaisance [email protected]

HOLYOKE — The Cannabis Community Care and Research Network Wednesday offered tips to help make what is projected to be the $1.07 billion marijuana industry by 2020 successful in a social justice way as well as for business.

Especially for people of color.

An online conference arranged by the Somerville-based marijuana advocate and consultant noted racial-disparity studies when it comes to marijuana. 

Blacks have been arrested at far higher rates than whites on marijuana charges, though marijuana use among blacks and whites was roughly equal.

Among tips from the webinar: read articles about the fast-growing marijuana industry in Massachusetts and contact local officials about pot policies.

Webinar panelists were Shaleen Title, a member of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, Sarah Trocchio, a doctoral candidate in criminal justice at Rutgers University-Newark and Kamani Jefferson of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council.

The Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council is a nonprofit that works to ensure that the marijuana industry is safe for large and small markets and that the products available to consumers have variety and quality.

The $1.07 billion figure cited for the Massachusetts marijuana industry was posted on a slide during the online conference and attributed to ArcView Group, “the first and largest group of high net worth cannabis investors.” 

The New York Times reported May 13 that in the first three months of 2018, 89 percent of the roughly 4,000 people arrested for marijuana possession in New York City were black or Hispanic. 

Five years ago, The Times cited a study of federal data that showed blacks were four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2010. The study was done by the American Civil Liberties Union and much of the data was independently reviewed for The New York Times by researchers at

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