Cooperative Cannabis Company
Barriers to Entry & Opportunities
Current legislation has created large barriers to entry in the medical and recreational cannabis industries, favoring corporate consolidation and monopolized cannabis. However, by working together, we can be stronger as a collective. With the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill and Illinois hemp bill, there are opportunities around the cultivation, distribution, and processing of hemp - a cannabis variety with close to zero THC, or the intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants.
Building Equity in the Cannabis Industry
While many are poised to profit from legalized cannabis, we must not forget those who have long suffered from an unjust "war on drugs." We must aim to restore and rehabilitate those affected, expunge convictions, and reduce sentences. It's undeniable that the "war on drugs" has disproportionately affect minorities, especially the black community, as Blacks have been historically three or four times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis possession.
How can lawmakers and industry leaders ensure that entrepreneurs of color are included in the expanding industry, addressing the issues of unjust incarceration and unequal access to capital?
One major issue with development and investment in communities that have historically been underfunded due to racism and other factors is gentrification-driven displacement. Socially-conscious investment and development is needed to include the current community in planning and decision-making.
One of our goals is to bring jobs to South Side and West Side communities in a responsible way. That includes diversifying recruitment tactics and investing back into the community. It also means hiring people with past cannabis possession convictions. The cooperative management structure can be beneficial to achieving these objectives.
Building Equity Through Cooperation
Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. Cooperative businesses exist to meet their members' needs; they are user-owned, user-controlled, and user-benefiting. They are more focused on service than investment or shareholder value. Can the cooperative model be applied to the cannabis industry? We think so.
In a worker cooperative model, worker members invest in and own the business together. Workers own the business and they participate in its financial success on the basis of their labor contribution to the cooperative. In a worker cooperative, capital and resources are raised by the worker cooperative members themselves. Decision-making is democratic, adhering to the principle of one-member one-vote.
From the Ground Up
Our startup team is comprised of a small group of passionate cannabis advocates, marketing professionals, herbalists, educators, and cannabis advisers. Instead of promoting a culture of cut-throat competition in the industry, we strive to build a culture of collaboration. We are not a multi-state operator—we are part of a homegrown effort to make an impact in our community.
We are actively recruiting team members to join our cooperative company, prioritizing Chicago residents with previous cannabis convictions and those living in zip codes that have historically experienced disinvestment and over-policing.
If you have skills or resources that could help us grow the company, and you are interested in joining us, fill out our form by following the link below and we will follow up with you promptly.