Benzinga. By Maureen Meehan. February 28, 2022
A group of Connecticut legal marijuana advocates released a Cannabis Manifesto, which is meant to be a resource for minority business applicants looking to enter the recreational industry.
The Alliance for Cannabis Equity (ACE), a group formed by the Connecticut Community Outreach Revitalization Program (ConnCORP) and The WorkPlace, held a press conference in Bridgeport recently to announce the release of the manifesto.
The Cannabis Manifesto
The manifesto is broken down into several different sections, which span from introduction to the legislation to frequently asked questions related to entrepreneurs, workforce and criminal record expungement. The document also provides some case study examples of successful cannabis businesses and offers resources connecting applicants to financers, consultants and legal experts.
ConnCORP board chair Carlton Highsmith said Connecticut’s law aims to ensure Black and brown communities are not left out of the legal cannabis industry, something ACE hopes to emphasize and support.
“But there is a knowledge gap that needs to be bridged,” Highsmith said. “Linkages to resources need to be made. Sources of financial capital that need to be identified. There is an urgent necessity for reliable and trusted information. This Manifesto is designed to bridge the resource gap and link interested parties to reliable, trusted and authoritative information and resources.”
ACE will also underwrite a manifesto that will be distributed free over the internet to prospective social equity cannabis entrepreneurs. The manifesto will be designed to make social equity cannabis entrepreneurs more successful and to improve the economic and social conditions in low-income communities of color in the state. State law says cannabis jobs and businesses must be created with workers and business owners who live and work in places affected most by the War on Drugs.
“The Manifesto’s goal is to help make the Connecticut Social Equity Council’s intention a reality,” said Fred McKinney, Ph.D., founder of BJM Solutions, the economic consulting firm that helped put together the document.
“We know from the experiences of other states that legalized recreational use and addressed equity in their laws that the gap between law and practice can be significant,” McKinney said. “We want to learn from the successes and failures of other states and from the unique conditions of this industry and the law in Connecticut.”
The Cannabis Manifesto can be found at https://www.acect.org/