Why Black People Are Being Left Out of the Weed Boom

Editor’s note: This is part 2 in an ongoing series that looks at the growing legal marijuana industry and its effect on the black community.

Zulu, a Maryland resident who calls himself the African Herbalist, sells marijuana on the black market. The 32-year-old is using a pseudonym to avoid being picked up for breaking the law in his home state and in the District of Columbia, where he delivers loose weed, edibles, oils and rubs to customers who call him. But Zulu says he’d much rather be in the business legally.

“This is my passion. This is something I could do every day with no worries,” says Zulu, who works at a bar in Northwest Washington, D.C. But he tried and failed to get in on the legal ground floor in Maryland when the state was putting together rules for its legal medical-marijuana industry.