Why Social Equity?

During the era of cannabis prohibition in California, the burdens of arrests, convictions, and long-term collateral consequences arising from a conviction fell disproportionately on Black and Latino communities, even though people of all races used and sold cannabis at nearly identical rates. The California Department of Justice has data that proves from 2006 to 2015, inclusive, Black residents of California were two times more likely to be arrested for cannabis misdemeanors and five times more likely to be arrested for cannabis felonies than White residents. During the same period, Latino residents were 35% more likely to be arrested for cannabis crimes than White residents. The collateral consequences associated with cannabis law violations, coupled with generational poverty and a lack of access to resources; make it extraordinarily difficult for persons with convictions, particularly people of color, to enter the newly regulated industry.

Due to this injustice, Cannabis Equity Programs are developing in California and around the country to provide assistance and support for this greatly affected and their families. Ways equity programs are looking to help are in areas of securing business locations prior to or during the application process, technical support, regulatory compliance assistance, and securing the capital necessary to begin and maintain a business to reduce the barriers to licensure and employment in the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry to help entrepreneurs and employees achieve high quality, well-paying jobs.


Our Objectives

  • Provide application assistance and guidance in writing an effective application.

  • Ensure compliance training is complete and optimized.

  • Assist with financial operating practices and securing capital. 

  • Facilitate business development, management, and operations.

  • Encourage cannabis best practices.

Community

We know those with higher socioeconomic statuses have been benefiting from the cannabis industry for decades, especially at the expense of people of color. We eradicate that notion by working specifically within our own communities and local government to improve policies, bring about adequate resources, and create ecosystems that improve the socioeconomic conditions our communities face on a daily basis. Communities can expect events like monthly workshops, an annual 420 “Today Was a Good Day” event, and more.


Education

Our equity incubator is a streamlined process educating people of color about the cannabis industry within our Phase I curriculum.

Phase I focuses on Cannabis Culture with an emphasis on the application process for a medical and adult-use license. Other topics include federal and state laws, policy and advocacy, zoning, horticulture, business development, and financial literacy.


Business

Our streamlined equity incubator builds upon Phase I with our Phase II curriculum that’s centered around cannabusiness preparedness.

Phase II focuses on Business Management with an emphasis on starting a Social Equity business. This phase is deeply rooted in our systems and processes covering everything from accounting and technology to operations and workforce management. This phase is optional and due to the license allocation restrictions, only a few applicants from Phase I will be accepted per cohort with the remaining interested applicants being placed on our waiting list.

Upon completion of Phase II, Social Equity applicant partners will receive financial and technological assistance by way of free rent for three years from the first day of business and access to our proprietary software, OAKTM, facilitating operations such as accounting, order management, employee payroll, delivery logistics, and more.


Economies of Scale

With an extreme lack of resources available to Social Equity applicants, we provide turnkey solutions that foster speed to market, group economics, integrated cloud technology, and a seamless seed to sale supply chain so our applicant partners have everything they need to run and scale a successful cannabusiness.


Technology

Technology has the power to level the playing field. Software is critical to running any regulated, compliant business; and the development/deployment of custom tech on behalf of SE Applicants can provide a necessary competitive advantage. Our condensed and easy to use tech smart cabinet complete with cloud computing, point of sale, logistics, and more will allow our Social Equity applicant partners to thrive and pass along the economic impact from it back into their immediate neighborhoods.


Policy & Advocacy

We work closely work local, state, and national government officials to ensure Social Equity Programs are efficient and meeting the needs of the neighborhoods they serve while fostering expansion of these programs across state lines. Local and state organizations include Social Equity Programs and City Councils in Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco as well as the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation. National organizations include the National Cannabis Industry Association and Minority Cannabis Business Association.