WASHINGTON, D.C. – In order to improve alternatives and illustration for folks of shade and marginalized communities within the hashish business, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is launching the Social Equity Scholarship Program which is able to present any social fairness applicant or license-holder with one yr of free membership with NCIA. This program is meant to assist degree the enjoying area by offering present and future fairness operators with the networking, assets, and instructional advantages provided by the nation’s largest and most established hashish commerce group.
The scholarship software is open now and accessible here.
“The tragic deaths of George Floyd and so many others at the hands of police have caused a national reckoning about systemic racism and inequality in all facets of life, including the cannabis industry,” mentioned Aaron Smith, government director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “As an organization founded on the principles of justice, fairness, and inclusion, this program is a necessary step for us to better uphold and promote those values. Providing resources to all social equity program applicants and elevating their voices is an important part of the ongoing process to help repair the devastation that prohibition and centuries of institutional racism have inflicted on marginalized communities.”
“This program is one way that NCIA can help empower black and brown communities that were (and are) disproportionately targeted by law enforcement for cannabis offenses. It gives entrepreneurs from those communities tools and resources that can help them overcome some structural impediments to their success, including asymmetries in access to industry information and education,” mentioned Khurshid Khoja, chairperson of NCIA’s board of administrators, board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, and principal at Greenbridge Corporate Counsel. “The cannabis industry as a whole has a moral obligation to recognize the disproportionate burden of criminal cannabis prohibition borne by these communities over decades, and to ensure that the opportunities created by legal markets are available, not just on an equal basis, but on an equitable one.”
“Social equity businesses deserve representation in the cannabis industry, and within NCIA is no different,” mentioned Amber Senter, co-founder of Supernova Women and chairperson of NCIA’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee (DEIC). “Offering free memberships to businesses that represent a segment of people that have been harmed by the war on drugs is a step in the right direction of inclusion.”
“In order for the cannabis industry to effectively encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion, we must work to build an infrastructure that prioritizes and reflects the needs of the individuals and businesses that have barriers to access so that they may truly participate as equitable partners,” mentioned Chris Jackson, a member of NCIA’s board of administrators and the federal government relations and social fairness lead for Sticky, a Michigan-based hashish retailer. “With this initiative, we are closer to amplifying that mission as an industry leader that should be replicated and championed. There is plenty more work to be done and initiatives like these will help provide equitable opportunities and remove barriers that shouldn’t exist to begin with.”
“The DEIC has initiatives lined up for the coming term year, our second in existence, to create greater representation and participation on NCIA’s platforms,” mentioned Mike Lomuto, DEIC member and managing associate at Dao Mastery consulting group. “I’m hopeful that removing the barrier of membership fees will be the first step of many in creating the impact in the industry we’d like to see.”
The scholarship program offers one yr of regular membership and different advantages, and is offered to anybody who’s making use of for a hashish enterprise license via a state or native social fairness program or who has already obtained an fairness license. This is a everlasting provide accessible to any new fairness candidates in perpetuity.
NCIA can be endorsing House Resolution 988, which was launched by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and condemns all types of police brutality and systemic oppression linked to the battle on medicine and different insurance policies. It is actively supporting federal legislative reforms, notably to improve banking entry for small companies and deschedule hashish in ways in which assist restore the racially and economically disproportionate harm brought on by prohibition.
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is the biggest hashish commerce affiliation within the U.S. and the one group broadly representing cannabis-related companies on the nationwide degree. NCIA promotes the expansion of a accountable and professional hashish business and works towards a positive social, financial, and authorized surroundings for that business within the United States.