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.
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.