Are you like us? Happy to see all of the awesome things coming from legal pot in Illinois in 2020? We assume so, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this… That said, there’s a lot of different opinions on the best benefits coming this January. There’s jobs, there’s the added tax revenue, there’s the expungement of crimes… But where is the diversity? Many experts say it’s lacking. So Illinois is going to try to correct that. How? Need resources for people of color in Illinois cannabis?
SEED – Cresco Labs
Cresco Labs, one of the leading companies in Illinois cannabis, has launched its own social equity program. SEED, which stands for Social Equity & Education Development, is intended to level the playing field. The program helps to educate and provide career training in the cannabis field. All geared towards people of color. Additionally, SEED holds expungement events, with the goal of helping people have cannabis crimes removed from their records. For more information and details, click here.
4thMVMT and Majority Minority
4thMVMT and Majority Minority are two social equity groups working together to level the playing field. Their goal is to get more minority business owners into the Illinois recreational marijuana industry. The program offers training, mentoring, and application assistance to entrepreneurs of color. To learn more on this program and to get on the mailing list, click here and here.
A national organization, M4MM stands for Minorities for Medical Marijuana. This group’s mission is to provide advocacy, outreach, education and outreach to underserved communities. While they offer many of the same valuable resources as other groups on this list, one unique offering is the CBLB program. This program, the Cannabis Business Licensing Bootcamp, is a workshop designed to help minority business owners get into the cannabis industry. This program is offered in different states at various times of year, so it’s best to get onto their mailing list or keep up with their website to find out about a workshop near you. Learn more here.
Illinois Adult-Use Cannabis and Social Equity
So, want to qualify as a Social Equity Applicant? The State of Illinois has defined criteria that you’ll need to meet. The program is still under development, but the bottom line is, if you meet these requirements, you’ll qualify for assistance. You may even qualify for this loan program as well.
So those are the resources we know of, at the moment. Expect to see these morph and change in the coming weeks. Also expect to see more businesses follow Cresco’s example, and develop their own social equity programs. Especially for any front runners that lead the back with early success, there will be a lot of pressure on them to help out to increase their diversity efforts. As they should. Everyone who qualifies should benefit from the new cannabis economy. Everyone.