LOS ANGELES—Southern California Coalition (SCC), an inclusive industry trade organization in Southern California, the California Growers Association (CalGrowers), the state’s most prominent cannabis cultivation voice in California, and California Minority Alliance (CMA), a nonprofit cannabis organization dedicated to providing education, economic opportunities and awareness of issues to support minority participation in the medical and emerging adult-use cannabis industries, have formed an important collaboration that leverages each groups’ core areas of expertise to help better the cannabis industry across categories such as cultivation, manufacturing, lab testing, distribution, delivery, dispensaries, banking and social equity issues in California. The three groups recently formed a working partnership to drive a cohesive voice and the implementation of sensible public policy, business, legislative, advocacy and local and statewide decisions, according to a press release.
“It is partnerships like this one that will ensure California continues to lead in cannabis—not just in the marketplace—but also on policy reform” said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association. “Our commitment to a marketplace that creates opportunity for all—rather than simply great wealth for a few—could not be reflected more perfectly than it is in this collaboration. Together, we will ensure California leads as our nation repeals and replaces the failed, costly policies of prohibition and overcomes the prejudice and misinformation upon which those policies rested.”
“We are standing together—united as one cannabis industry,” said Donnie Anderson, Chairman of the California Minority Alliance and co-founder of the Southern California Coalition. “While we have all been working closely together for years, we formalized our partnership to help ensure that the world’s largest cannabis market and California sets a new bar for what sensible and comprehensive regulations truly means. We will work together and with key local and state decision makers and advocacy organizations like the NAACP and others to create more smart public policies that are fair for businesses and communities while overturning failed ‘War on Drug’ approaches that only hurt communities and Californians across the state.”
“No one can touch the depth of experience we have brought together under this collaboration,” said Adam Spiker, executive director of Southern California Coalition. “This partnership won’t just help our members and partners, but everyone in the cannabis industry. By leveraging SCC’s local, public policy and advocacy expertise, CGA’s statewide and industry experience, and CMA’s unmatchable knowledge of social equity issues, our collaboration will help create a more equitable and business- and community-smart industry. We look forward to working closely with our members, partners and key decision makers on Proposition M’s implementation in LA. We also encourage others organizations to join this working group, which will be a sound voice for the industry that advocates for responsible regulatory models in Los Angeles and across the state.”
In California, the cannabis industry has a projected value of $7 billion, and its cities could eventually harvest $1 billion in taxes each year. Medical cannabis has been legal in California since 1996, and the adult-use cannabis market is set to rollout in January 2018. However, across the state, small businesses in the cannabis industry continue to face roadblocks and stalls, particularly pertaining to local licensing and permitting, which all businesses must obtain in order to participate in California’s soon-to-be merged medical and adult-use cannabis markets.
A major goal of this new partnership will be to boost awareness and outreach of key regulatory, public policy and social equity issues across California and to drive awareness of how the cannabis industry can contribute to positive community, environmental and social justice change. With responsibility, inclusivity, authenticity and transparency as key goals, the group will work to ensure that comprehensive regulatory models that create an inclusive and fairly licensed, regulated, and enforced upon cannabis industry and supply chain are implemented throughout California.