SAN FRANCISCO – One of California’s largest cannabis companies is increasing its efforts to promote equity within the industry. As a part of its Social Equity Partners program, Eaze is expanding its equity menu today. The Social Equity Partners Menu allows consumers to easily identify minority-owned cannabis businesses. Products on this menu include cannabis flower, prerolls, concentrates, vapes, edibles, and more.
Despite similar levels of cannabis use, Black Americans are almost four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than their white peers. Racial bias in arrests does a lot of damage over the long term as cannabis convictions can often prevent aspiring business owners from attaining cannabis licenses.
Last year, Eaze announced the launch of its Social Equity Partners program in an attempt address some of the damage caused in communities of color by the war on drugs. The program was formed after Eaze realized, through extensive dialogue with community and minority business leaders, that many were being excluded from real opportunity to thrive within California’s recreational cannabis industry.
“It was clear that these entrepreneurs were already—in the first year of California’s [recreational] market—being left behind,” said Darius Kemp, head of equity and change said at Eaze. “Many legacy Prop 215 businesses struggled with MAUCRSA, and entrepreneurs wanting to launch businesses couldn’t access capital.”
According to Eaze, the equity menu “provides brands with financial and operational support to help them scale and succeed on Eaze and beyond.” It also serves consumers by making it “easy for consumers to support a diverse industry, and address the war on drugs’ disproportionate effects.” Eaze lists several benefits for participating brands on the equity menu:
- Preferred financing and payment structuring.
- Discounted access to Eaze Partner Portal data.
- Incorporation into the Eaze supply chain.
- Marketing and public relations support.
To be listed on the equity menu brands must have acquired a social equity license or currently be in the process of obtaining one.
“We’re proud to offer these incredible brands industry-leading terms that support their growth by addressing chronic small business challenges that include access to capital, tight cash flow, and customer education,” Kemp said. “Shopping these brands is one of the best ways consumers can support equity and consume conscientiously.”
Bryant Mitchell, chief executive officer at Blaqstar Farms, one of the new brands now available on the social equity menu, believes consumers want to promote a more diverse industry.
“Consumers are more thoughtful than ever about the products they consume and ensuring they come from a brand that aligns with their values, and cannabis is no exception,” said Mitchell. “Eaze is an exceptional partner for Black-owned cannabis brands, allowing us to step into the spotlight and reach consumers who not only want a fantastic product but want to know their dollars are going towards a new generation of Black cannabis entrepreneurs.”
Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Menu previously featured brands Cloud 9, KGB Reserve, and SF Roots in Northern California. Today’s expansion adds brands including Dreamt, Blaqstar Farms, James Henry SF, and Oakland Extracts to the menu in the greater Los Angeles market.