DACO Conference To Introduce Cannabis Opportunities To Marginalized Communities

PENNSYLVANIA: The Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO) will host the 2018 Cannabis Opportunities Conference on the theme Seeking Higher Ground and Equity in the Industry at the Temple University Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA on October 19-20, 2018.

The purpose of the conference will be to demystify the profession and culture of the cannabis industry in minority and marginalized communities of the US and globally in the African diaspora, while recreating a narrative of opportunities and restorative justice for the growth of the community in light of the massive shifts and associated stigma of the cannabis industry. Presenters and legislators including PA State Senator Sharif Street, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, NJ Senator Cory Booker, and keynote speaker Dr Chanda Macias will participate at the conference on select panels and workshops to discuss current laws, opportunities, restorative justice and cannabis reform. The DACO conference will also feature an exhibition hall and job fair.

DACO Conference

“The cannabis industry is rapidly growing, expected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021 and if legalized for adult use a single US state such as Pennsylvania can stand to gain $581 million in tax revenue. The economic opportunities it creates will be limitless however many are unaware of its economic benefits especially African Americans and Latinos in the US who make up less than 20% of all business owners. African and Caribbean nations have been lagging behind Western nations with respect to cannabis legalization and regulation. With this forum, we aim to help reduce the stigma and introduce cannabis opportunities to marginalized communities throughout the African diaspora and open the dialogue for opportunities in education, wellness, social justice, policy, entrepreneurship, and workforce development,” explains Cherron Perry-Thomas, Director of Social Impact at The Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO), organizers of the conference.

The 2-day conference will be held in a “Ted Talk” Style where speakers including cannabis owners, entrepreneurs and advocates will share their experiences focusing on wellness, business development and legislative success. There will also be a panels and breakout sessions allowing for more discussion on various subjects from the history of the criminalization of cannabis to workforce education, simple investing and advocacy engagement.

“The Cannabis Opportunities conference is essentially a safe space where people can network, learn and exchange ideas. We want this to be a forum for the many who may feel shut out due to finances, stigmatization and lack of education on the cannabis industry and opportunities and how this information can empower them economically,” adds Perry-Thomas.

The DACO 2018 Cannabis Opportunities Conference will be a platform to bring global cannabis experts and community stakeholders together to learn about trends in the emerging cannabis industry with topics aimed to educate and empower marginalized communities. The conference will be free for attendees wand materials will be bilingual (English/Spanish).

Free with registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-cannabis-opportunity-conference-tickets-48903615029?ref=estw

For more info, visit: www.wearedaco.com Social Media @wearedaco

Criminalized To Capitalized: Social Equity Pilot Program Seeks Aspiring Cannabis Business Owners With Past Cannabis Convictions

CALIFORNIA: Largely missing from California’s booming new legal cannabis industry are millions of potential cannabis entrepreneurs systematically criminalized by the war on drugs, according to Los Angeles management consulting firm Seira, which today announced a search for participants in its Pilot Program for Cannabis Social Equity.

Participants in this Pilot Program will receive mentorship, training, and access to business development resources, preparing each cannabis entrepreneur to begin the process of Los Angeles city licensure as early as August, 2018. Funding and licensure are among the most significant obstacles for entrepreneurs affected by cannabis criminalization, according to Seira founders Steven Vasquez and Simone Cimiluca-Radzins.

Survivors of systematic cannabis criminalization are invited to attend a seminar in Mid-City  Los Angeles on July 19, 2018, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, in order to learn if they may qualify for this Pilot Program. Seira is seeking applicants who reside in South Los Angeles, have experienced a cannabis-related criminal conviction, and are considered low-income.

As cannabis legalization sweeps the country and billions of dollars pour into marijuana business, people of color remain shut into prison and shut out of wealth. Black Americans are 3.5 times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis consumption, though the U.S. Census Bureau finds cannabis consumption rates are nearly identical across racial lines. Meanwhile, Black Americans own only about 1% of the nation’s thousands of legalized storefront marijuana dispensaries, according to a 2016 investigative report by Buzzfeed.

The disproportionate impact of cannabis criminalization on Los Angeles’s low-income and marginalized residents aroused the concern of the Los Angeles City Council, which passed a motion in June of 2017 directing the city to develop a Social Equity Program to decrease disparities in life outcomes for marginalized communities and address disproportionate impacts of the war on drugs in those communities. Seira’s Social Equity Pilot Program, designed by entrepreneurs within and outside the cannabis industry, will achieve these goals by shepherding entrepreneurs through the entire process of launching their cannabis businesses.

Medical Marijuana Firm Wonders Why It Fell Short

MASSACHUSETTS:  As the drama over the state’s foray into medical marijuana unfolds, G. Malik Burnett and Corey Barnette continue to wonder why exactly their effort to take part fell short.

Burnett and Barnette are two of the principals in Bay State Holistic, a company that had designs on distributing medical marijuana in the Worcester area. Their team boasted many of the qualities considered crucial to winning a license from the Department of Public Health, including an attractive location, experience in the field, and local support. They were also the only minority-owned firm in the competition. [Read more…]