WRITTEN BY: VANESSA MACIAS
THE CULTURE OF CANNABIS: SOCIAL EQUITY LA
February 15, 2020
Author: Vanessa Macias
Publisher: NUGL Magazine
Los Angeles, CA/ February 15, 2020/---Dust To Diamonds Incorporated, A California based cannabis health/wellness platform.
“Equality of Opportunity is the Essence of Social Justice”- Tony Honore
To truly address the legacies of inequality in communities impacted by the war on drugs, then we
must approach our social, economic and environmental systems with holistic solutions.
To better understand the sacrifices that the legalized cannabis industry is founded on is a conversation
of complexity and high opinion. But the truism of the situation resides in many individuals and
communities that are still suffering from the effects of societal injustice, corruption and inequality
brought on by the war on drugs.
Where do we begin with such an intrinsic transition towards a culturally diverse cannabis industry?
42357 50th St. W. Lancaster, CA 93536 Suite 103
Los Angeles, California, the first city to approve the historic socially equitable cannabis measure. SB
1294-The California Cannabis Equity Act 2018. This bill is intended to reverse the damaging impacts on
individuals (aka “cannabis criminals” according to our judicial system) and the low-income
communities in disadvantaged areas which have been affected by prior cannabis prohibition and faulty
While some of the highest rates of racial disparities can be seen within the Latino and Black
neighborhoods, many people of color have undergone the brunt end of unregulated cannabis
entrepreneurship and have been arrested for selling a product that is now an extremely lucrative
The Los Angeles Social Equity Program is a restorative solution to reverse the municipal negligence
that has led to a decay in our economic infrastructure. Through development of an industry set to
better serve the impacted black and brown communities, and empower women and minority groups
more effectively, is the beginning of a sustainable industry like no other. Or is it?
On September 3, 2019, Phase 3 Round 1 for submissions of the Los Angeles Social Equity Retail
Licensing opened. Preparation commenced; qualified applicants connected with investors for what
was looking to be a win/win opportunity to own a California cannabis business. The downfall?
Incompetency in corporate contracting and a faulty sense of financial education.
How can a newcomer to an equity enterprise be protected from the capitalism in corporate cannabis?
Leading the way for the collective voice of the people, Executive Director of LA Department of
Cannabis (DCR), Cat Packer, is an impact leader committed to achieving social justice and diversity in
the cannabis industry. Advocacy groups such as Social Equity LA, California Minority Alliance, Green
Believers, M4MM, to name a few, are driving initiatives to improve historical social justice issues
related to cannabis policy, community reinvestment opportunities and resources to help guide
applicants towards success.
We are at the infancy of what is a monumental shift in equal opportunity in the cannabis space and
beyond. As we enter a new millennium, millennials are bridging the gap amongst racial and ethnic
diversity between generations. As the largest (75Million) and most diverse group (44% minority),
millennials are dedicated to social justice and are inspired to develop a new and more luminous world.
Through harvesting righteousness in this equitable opportunity for brown and black wealth, we are
ushering in changes for shaping the entrepreneurial diversity that will be followed by later