The legalization of marijuana has created the largest business opportunity in America since 1933. The city of Sacramento, California intends to make the best of this opportunity by creating a program that will help minority communities participate in this up and coming industry.
The Sacramento City Council approved the Cannabis Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Equity Program (CORE) in November of 2017. According to Fox40, CORE “aims to provide mentors who have experience in the marijuana industry to women and minorities that are looking to get into that business.” It also waives some start-up fees for members of minorities and can speed up the permit and approval process for minority business. Overall the City of Sacramento hopes to create equal opportunity for all wishing to enter this field.
The city will also gain considerable benefits from this program. Recreational sales have the potential to create new taxes and fees. The revenue from just 30 medical marijuana dispensaries in 2016 was over $4.8 million.
In many ways, Sacramento’s program, as with all other equity programs, will be a test trail watched by all of America. To avoid criticism Sacramento will have to truly provide small minority-owned businesses with help that will put them on the same level as their competitors. The city must begin by developing small-business support centers, mentoring programs, and provide technical support as needed.
This program has raised the hope that minority businesses that have been going around the law will be able to come into the light and feel more comfortable and welcome in the industry. The City believes that if minority businesses are given fair opportunities, the result will be legitimate businesses, greater public safety, and more tax revenue for the city.
Bill Lockyer, a former attorney general for the State of California, and a soon to be co-founder of a cannabis distribution business stated: “I think legalizing will help stabilize and help legitimize this industry and result in better consumer protection and other public benefits.”
This opinion is shared by and has motivated the Sacramento and Asian- Pacific Chambers of Commerce to create outreach programs. These programs have been up and running for a little over a year. Through these programs, there have been four roundtables and educational workshops in the past year. All of these events have been widely popular. It was noted that several hundred participants were in attendance at the events.
Many minorities faced business discrimination in the last century over a variety of industries. The Cannabis Industry is an opportunity to right the wrongs of the past by providing truly equal opportunity. Sacramento is not alone in its fight for equality. Equity programs have been created throughout the state of California in Oakland, Los Angles, and San Francisco. Other states that are supporting minority progression in the Cannabis sphere include Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. While many of these programs have flaws to work out, the sheer number of them shows the potential growth the Cannabis industry will have in years to come.