Oakland will hold its first-ever cannabis equity week from November 14-18, 2022, according to a city press release. Oakland was the first city in the U.S. in 2017 to start a cannabis social equity program to help those most affected by the War on Drugs find a foothold in the regulated cannabis industry. The celebration will highlight equity operators who they say “have suffered from a lack of consumer awareness and marketing,” which has led to fewer dispensaries carrying equity products on their shelves and on their online menus. During the event, select dispensaries will be offering special deals for equity brands.
“When you buy from an Equity brand, you are buying excellent cannabis products while helping your fellow Oaklanders. Oakland has a deeply rooted history of supporting its own and social justice. Equity cannabis is the next chapter in our story.” — Greg Minor, Assistant to the City Administrator and manager of the Special Activity Permits Division
The city said its equity program to date has “included prioritized permitting for equity applicants, exemption from application and permit fees, free legal and technical assistance, the purchase of a shared kitchen to advance manufacturing opportunities and financial assistance via the Equity Loan and Grant Programs.”
Oakland has issued over 190 equity licenses and dispersed $7 million in grant money to social equity operators. Over 80% of businesses approved for the grant funding are owned by African Americans.
Oakland has used city cannabis taxes, state grants from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz), and funds from California‘s Department of Cannabis Control to fund the social equity program, the press release notes.
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