Regulated cannabis is an exciting new industry, brimming with opportunity. However, because of the long, fraught legal history of cannabis in the United States, ensuring this promising field is available and accessible to all is of utmost importance.
As this industry grows, consumers and professionals must concern themselves with marijuana education and social equity in the cannabis industry. Read on to find out how you can learn more about cannabis equity and get involved.
What is Social Equity in the Cannabis Industry?
Fundamentally, social equity in the cannabis industry is about supporting those harmed by ongoing cannabis prohibition in this country.
The root of social equity in the cannabis industry lies in acknowledging that the War on Drugs has been ineffective at reducing unsafe drug use and has instead caused unquantifiable harm to marginalized communities. Once individuals, businesses, and policymakers acknowledge this, we can begin working to rectify the situation.
Social equity in cannabis means ensuring historically marginalized communities have access to the regulated cannabis industry. Social equity implementation can take many forms, from established professionals advising minority-owned businesses to state mandates requiring a certain number of cannabis business licenses to be set aside for social equity applicants.
Why is Cannabis Social Equity Important?
The War on Drugs has caused immeasurable harm, especially in marginalized communities struggling with systemic inequality. Cannabis professionals and policymakers share responsibility for righting these wrongs to benefit the cannabis industry and the wider community.
Social equity efforts aren’t limited to professionals, either. Cannabis consumers and community members can also engage in practices to help advance social equity initiatives in the world of cannabis and beyond.
How are States Implementing Social Equity?
States and governments often work towards social equity through laws and legislation. None of these changes would be possible without the hard work of cannabis activists across the nation.
Many state cannabis boards have programs to ensure that social equity cannabis businesses have access to the necessary licenses and certifications. Some states offer the first licenses to social equity businesses, help guide new minority-owned businesses or waive the fees associated with obtaining licenses.
Several states have established social programs that use taxes from the sale of adult-use cannabis to benefit the wider community. These programs can help provide affordable housing and revitalize communities harmed by the War on Drugs.
Oaksterdam’s home state of California has long been a champion of social equity in the cannabis industry. The state provides technical assistance in establishing social equity cannabis businesses and waives the fees of social equity license applicants. California towns and cities are also home to local social equity programs, where community members can crowdsource support and develop new ideas.
Oaksterdam Can Help You Learn About Social Equity
Oaksterdam University has been passionate about weed education and community activism since our inception in 2007. We have championed cannabis social equity initiatives in our home city of Oakland and beyond and are continually expanding our efforts.
Oaksterdam University is the first academic institution to promote equity in the cannabis space by lowering barriers to cannabis licensing, entrepreneurship, and employment. The state of Connecticut recently joined several municipalities that have contracted Oaksterdam as a trusted provider, including the Cities of Oakland, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs, as well as the City and County of San Francisco and Monterey, California.
We are also proud to offer social equity initiatives to our students. We offer several programs to ensure that anyone who wishes to learn about cannabis and the cannabis industry has access to the education they need. Formal cannabis training can open countless doors in this fast-growing industry, and we believe everyone deserves access to the resources they need to further themselves and their careers.
Finally, Oaksterdam University is passionate about continued education. We offer classes focused on social equity so that seasoned professionals and newcomers to the industry alike can stay up-to-date with the latest equity and social justice initiatives and learn how their unique skillset can contribute to the cause.
How Can I Get Involved With Social Equity in Cannabis?
Advocates and activists are at the heart of the push for social equity in the cannabis industry. There are countless ways individuals can help further these initiatives.
Cannabis activists across the nation are pushing for social justice and social equity initiatives. You can volunteer and join their ranks, contributing your voice and unique skills.
If you are eligible, vote in your local, state, and national elections to help in-state policymakers who emphasize social equity initiatives and the decriminalization of cannabis. Know your rights and be sure your voice is heard this election season.
Oaksterdam University offers many free resources and classes that can help kickstart your social justice education, ranging from refreshing your knowledge on social equity initiatives to whether the plant should be called “cannabis” or “pot.”
You can also sign up for a class at Oaksterdam University. We offer many different courses, schedules, and classwork structures so that you can find the best type of cannabis education for you. Regardless of who you are or your profession, your voice is vital in the fight for social equity in the cannabis industry and beyond.