Vangst is proud to announce a partnership with Make Green Go!, a woman and black owned cannabis consultant firm in Oakland, California. Make Green Go! was the first in the country to be awarded a contract to offer technical assistance to assist cannabis equity applicants. They provide free services to verified equity applicants to help navigate the permitting process from compliance and regulatory services to business planning, consultations, workshops and online training. Additional services for Equity Applicants are found on the Equity Bootcamp, an online portal that includes classes on compliance, business coaching, document review, business plan development, start-up advice, legal resources, sales and marketing, incubation best practices and funding sources.
Here at Vangst, our support of Oakland’s social equity program and in partnership with Make Green Go!, has helped us better understand how to best serve the communities in which we work. Our objective is to continue to make our employment opportunities available and to provide additional resources that can help raise the bar for other companies in the space as well. On April 26th in Oakland, we’re sponsoring the 2nd Annual Cannabis Equity Summit + Expo. Karson Humiston, our Founder & CEO, will be speaking on the Women in Cannabis panel. This year’s Equity Summit theme, “making equity work” is a call to action to help promote equity products to local buyers, advance entrepreneurship, business operations and workforce development. Vangst is thrilled to be partnering with the equity program and help provide greater accessibility to all types of jobs in the cannabis industry.
La Wanda Knox (founder) and some of the Make Green Go! team
But what exactly is social equity?
Social Equity is a concept that concerns itself with social justice and fairness toward social policy as a whole. It examines current and historical inequalities among groups of people that intersect race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, sexuality, mental and physical conditions and language. A common misconception between Equity and Equality is that they mean the same thing. However, equity is different than equality in that it aims to provide individuals with the tools or resources needed to be successful based on proportional representation, while equality is generally treating people the same way based on the assumption that all individuals hold equal starting positions.
Social Equity + Cannabis
What does social equity mean as it pertains to the cannabis industry? The War on Drugs has disproportionately impacted communities of color and has devastated lives, creating additional barriers for entry into cannabis ownership and employment opportunities. Black and Brown communities are faced with a disadvantage for greater participation, ownership and long-term economic empowerment due to inequitable access to capital, educational resources, and formal job training. While cannabis is becoming more mainstream, the question remains how will the folks who have been gravely impacted have an equitable and just opportunity and not get left behind? California has led the way with the building up of social equity programs in Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento – as has Massachusetts – to help facilitate greater access for ownership and cannabis career pathways. These social equity programs are designed to lower barriers for employment as well as licensing for Equity Applicants whereby cannabis regulatory bodies waive permitting fees, reduce or remove costs on rent with incubator partnerships, and provide technical assistance to help new licensees prepare to operate their business. These initial solutions, though noteworthy, only begin to scratch the surface in helping to repair the disastrous impacts from decades of discriminatory drug policies.
What can we do?
An important and ongoing objective in supporting these social equity programs is to educate ourselves on what is currently happening in these communities. Thus, we are working with cannabis consultants, activists and advocates in the industry who are passionate about creating real solutions to support long-term success for equity operators and the workforce. We are doing this by building up a coalition of social equity stakeholders and we’re asking for your support to help the next wave of cannabis businesses and professionals entering the market.
Want to learn more about social equity here at Vangst?