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. How do we collectively prepare to compete with large corporations? By working together, we can be stronger as a collective.
Additionally, 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. The hemp market is often overlooked by cannabis entrepreneurs.
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 affected minorities, especially the black community, as Blacks have been historically three or four times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis possession despite equal usage rates.
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? As one of the few worker-owned cannabis companies in the industry, we believe the cooperative management structure can be beneficial to achieving some of these objectives.
Building Equity Through Cooperation
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 new members to join our cooperative company who will have the potential to become owners in the company.
Commitment to Basic Principles of Being a Worker Cooperative
The Members of Chicago Cannabis Company (CCC) have chosen to form a worker cooperative because they believe that worker cooperatives contribute to a more just society and to more just and healthy workplaces. To that end, the Members agree to uphold the following principles and practices in their business:
At least 60% of the workers in the business shall be Members of CCC: The Members acknowledge that a key feature of worker cooperatives is that the majority – or even all – of the workers in the business are also owners of the business. The Members acknowledge that, at times, the business may have employees who have not yet become Members or who will not become Members of CCC. In order to prevent CCC from becoming more like a typical business with many non-owner employees, the Members agree to ensure that, at any given time, at least 60% of the people working for CCC are also members of CCC. The Members agree to strive toward 100% worker membership, while setting 60% as a minimum.
- At least 50% of the Members of CCC shall be persons from one of the groups described below: Part of CCC’s mission is to provide opportunities to individuals from historically disadvantaged groups. To accomplish this, CCC shall strive towards having 50% of its members be individuals that are Equity Applicants, Individuals from Disproportionately Impacted Areas, and Socially or Economically disadvantaged communities.
Introduction to Cooperative Principles
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.
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.