Hiccups Plague San Francisco’s Cannabis Equity Agenda
San Francisco was early to adopt a cannabis equity policy to address the sins of the past and reduce disparities and barriers to entry in the cannabis marketplace. But as Forbes’ Iris Dorbian reports, the city’s equity initiative is now suffering setbacks.
Take the Success Centers’ Equity for Industry Training workshop, for instance, which helps entrepreneurs from marginalized communities get started in the industry.
Founded 36 years ago by Superior Court Judges to provide education and employment opportunities to youth in San Francisco’s juvenile detention facilities, Success Centers has evolved to become an important presence within the various communities it serves, which include San Mateo, Sonoma and Alameda Counties. In addition to helping the disconnected and disenfranchised find work in various sectors, Success Centers recently added cannabis to its programming. As a result, the Equity for Industry Training was launched.
Though Success Centers was able to pivot to online and virtual events due to the coronavirus outbreak, problems have arisen. The funding allocated to a 14-week pilot entrepreneurship training program was secured with the caveat that it would not be divvied out to cannabis businesses, according to Liz Jackson-Simpson, CEO of the Success Centers. With the state of California having released funding to cities and municipalities to support their cannabis initiatives, the dichotomy is especially troubling...
The city is struggling with a backlog, with around 200 equity applications awaiting approval by the city. A moratorium on cannabis equity applicants has even been put forth as a possible remedy.
Read more about the problems besetting San Francisco’s equity agenda here .