ConnCORP and WorkPlace Partner to Help Black and Brown Entrepreneurs ‘Seize’ Cannabis ‘Moment’
Black and brown entrepreneurs will discover “joint ventures” – and perhaps create one – with the help of a marijuana “manifesto” that is in the works.
This manifesto – a practical translation and guide to Connecticut’s 300-page legislation legalizing adult marijuana – is one of many initiatives by the Alliance for Cannabis Equity (ACE), a new partnership to support homeowners. minority businesses and workers interested in joining the state’s most anticipated new upcoming industry.
Connecticut Community Outreach Revitalization Program (ConnCORP) and Work place, two organizations that work to strengthen economic and workforce development by providing “opportunities for underserved residents,” announced and described their collaboration on the project Tuesday at the ConnCorp headquarters on Newhall Street in Hamden.
âFor too long, the creativity, ingenuity and ingenuity of this community have not been fully harnessed,â said Carlton Highsmith, Chairman of the Board of ConnCORP. âThe legalization of cannabis introduces a whole new growing industry to Connecticut. Hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs will be created; dozens of new businesses will be formed; and millions, if not billions of dollars of wealth created.
Joseph Carbone, president and CEO of The WorkPlace, noted that the cannabis industry produces the âfastest growing jobs in this country,â with âhigh wagesâ that have the capacity to raise prices. disenfranchised in the âmiddle class part of Americaâ, creating careers rather than just âjobsâ and fixing the âfakes of the pastâ.
Highsmith attributed to the Cannabis Act the intention of “ensuring that black and brown communities that have been affected by disparate law enforcement policies over the decades are not left behind, but benefit also of this new industry â. ConnCORP’s alliance with The WorkPlace, he said, aims to help make that intention a reality from start to finish in cultivation, distribution, marketing, communications, and more.
The law itself allows for the delisting of past cannabis-related crimes and reserves half of all commercial cannabis licenses for people in neighborhoods considered most affected by the war on drugs. In addition, up to 75% of revenues from cannabis sales will be spent on a new âinvestment fundâ that will be invested in these neighborhoods.
State developed a Social Equity Council oversee, monitor and facilitate the technical aspects of these elements of the legislation. For example, this council voted on August 5 of this year to determine which neighborhoods were most affected by the criminalization of cannabis.
In line with these elements of the new law, ACE will connect aspiring black and brown entrepreneurs with ‘trusted advisors’, provide them with personalized and free business advice and connect them with training and business development opportunities. labor provided by The WorkPlace.
The ACE manifesto will serve as the basis for the alliance’s efforts, the crew agreed. Once it is released, those in attendance at Tuesday’s press conference said they would organize “community listening and information-sharing sessions” to bring together interested parties and connect them with stakeholders. resources needed. They also said they were making the manifesto available to interested policymakers who could use it to continue developing financial implementation tools for the benefit of people of color entering the cannabis business.
âOn the one hand, it is about jobs; two, this is business; three, it is about wealth; four, it’s about fairness; and, five, it’s about restorative justice, âsaid Dr. Fred McKinney, founder of diverse business development consulting firm BJM Solutions. He was chosen by ACE to draft the manifesto. He said the new partnership aims to complement the work of the Social Equity Council, not replace it.
Andrea Comer, Chair of the Council’s Social Equity Committee, also attended the event. âWe know that the Council for Social Equity, the 14 members and I, cannot do it alone,â she told the audience. âWe cannot do it in isolation. So having partnership opportunities like this will only strengthen our commitment to equity. “
The council, along with the ministries of Labor, Economic and Community Development, and Workforce Strategies, are also currently responsible for creating a comprehensive workforce plan. âThere isn’t just one way for this,â Comer said. It organizes meetings with labor partners, community colleges and all community organizations willing to collaborate; ACE can play an important role in making these connections.
License distributions will operate through a lottery system; Once the candidates are selected by lot, the Social Equity Council decides whether the selected candidates are eligible. In December, Comer said the board would begin analyzing possible income and residency requirements as well as business audits that will determine which applicants will ultimately receive licenses.
McKinney noted that the manifesto should help its target audience of potential entrepreneurs – as well as policy makers – determine the answers to questions such as “What is a good, doable and understandable joint venture?” âEspecially since many people requesting these licenses will have to partner with funders to start their business.
The board can use these guidelines to inform its selection process. The goal, said Comer, is to make sure that âthe social equity seeker who comes in with that partner actually has a stake in itâ¦ because what we don’t want are predatory establishments. What we don’t want are frontmen.
McKinney illustrated the current moment around cannabis – including its natural hazards and possibilities – by pointing out that a multi-state cannabis company has struck a deal and signed two more this month to acquire three more companies with marijuana dispensaries as well as a grow facility in Connecticut. . Specifically, The company purchased Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions’ growing and production facilities in Rocky Hill, an acquisition that included $ 113.25 million in voting stock.
âThis tells you that the licenses that will be granted as part of a lottery process are extremely valuableâ¦ If the entrepreneurs who want to start these businesses do not have the support, the capital, the support of the management, the support of the community, they will run behind the eight balls, âMcKinney said.
âThe opportunity awaits us there,â summed up Carbone. âIt’s our job to seize the moment. “
âFor too long the creativity, ingenuity and ingenuity of this community has not been fully harnessed,â said Carlton Highsmith, Chairman of the Board of ConnCORP. âThe legalization of cannabis introduces a whole new growing industry to Connecticut. Hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs will be created; dozens of new businesses will be formed; and millions, if not billions of dollars of wealth created.
You are kidding. The legalization of cannabis as it relates to recreational marijuana is the new oppressor of blacks. Read the story. They give recreational whiskey to Indians. You see, when the white man brought whiskey to the native plains in the mid-1800s, it had a sudden and devastating effect on a deeply rooted way of life. In fact, a whiskey trader by the name of WC Gladstone described the trading ritual. Speeches followed, washed down with another dram, then another drink, until each had absorbed five drams and were ripe for business. The weeks of trading have left us with 600 horses and our warehouses almost full. The whiskey was made from distilled alcohol mixed with chewing tobacco, red pepper, soap, molasses and red ink and was labeled “Whoop-Up Juice”. It was made inexpensively, highly addictive, and provided huge profits for the fur traders. In three years, the whiskey trade has caused more destruction to the natives of the plains than a hundred years of tribal warfare. Believe me. Marijuana.
My friend. NY State Assemblyman Charles Barron put it right. I just don’t see how recreational use of marijuana is good for the revolution.