5 Reasons Why we need Cannabis Small Business Models

A’Esha Goins gives 5 reasons why states need to incorporate small business models in the Cannabis sector.

It’s difficult to see an equitable solution in the Cannabis sector without offering more than 1 busines model.

In this video I give 5 reasons why small business models is the solution.

Simply High Extracts

Simply High Extracts was created in 2016 with the goal of bring a gourmet vegan infused Canna Butter and Extra Light Olive Oil to the legal cannabis market. We have been collaborating with top chefs all over building our brand, while also providing easy 15 min recipes on our website to go along with our products. We sold out catered events and provided cooking demo’s to new cannabis user of all ages and backgrounds.

For the last 6 months we have been striving to acquire licensing to bring our products to legal shops like Euphorium (a black owned dispensary) & Med Men. We are proud to say we have accomplish that goal and will be in legal dispensaries coming September!

This is a big accomplishment for myself and also the black community of LA. I’ve personally seen the effects of harsh scrutiny in LA neighborhoods for cannabis. To see the liberation of this medicinal herb, and see the people oppressed by prohibition capitalized is something that strove me to that goal of becoming licensed and entering the market the first black owned gourmet cannabis cooking extracts brand!

From the owner:

My name is Daniel Olujide George owner of Simply High Extracts. I’m Nigerian/American, born and raised in south central Los Angeles. I started this business when my father passed away from leukemia in 2016. Like most parents he was reluctant to share with me he used to be a cannabis user, in order to show me what is was like to live a life free of influence. I love and appreciate him for doing so. However, it inspired me to create a way to introduce the benefits of cannabis to people like my father and also people suffering from sickness and other ailments, while bringing a creative “do it yourself” approach to the edible industry.

Instagram @simplyhighextracts

CannaBrownGirl

cannABrownGirl?

Host and curator ChaVon Butler lightbulb for her video series during a time( losing her mother to pancreatic cancer in 2016) that she needed exactly what she represents, a woman of color and believer of the most high God, Christ, well informed on the medical benefits of cannabis, and an informative resource or community.

The series of conversations amongst women of color opens a healthy and comfortable space for others to share experiences, education, and create representation in the cannabis industry. 

“When I started doing research on cannabis and the medicinal benefits, I was so mind blown. I knew that many people of color suffered from the stigma, I knew that it was a thing that we didn’t talk about on this level , I knew that it was shunned upon. I knew that a lot of black men are STILL institutionalized for it. I knew that I needed to be a part of the change.”  

By ChaVon Butler Instagram @cannabrowngirl

PTSD From The War on Drugs

According to Make the Connection website for veterans some of the signs of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) are;

Most of the Black and Brown men/women I know have displayed 3 or more of these signs when and or after an interaction with leadership and or law officials. I’m talking about law abiding men/women. Men/Women with families and respectable lifestyles. I’ve even watched Black and Brown men/Women with means and acces display 3 or more of these signs after being pulled over by police.

This information has value because THIS is why there aren’t more Black and Brown men and women in the industry. Its not JUST because of the finances or the lack of information, it is because WE ARE AFRAID OF THE SYSTEM!!

EVERYONE is dancing around the truth because no one wants to blame the USA. There’s enough going on and as a people we don’t like to ruffle feathers, which is another sign of PTSD, but I digress. The signs are real. The issue is real and the sooner we begin to have this discussion in our communities the more likely we are not to miss the green opportunity.

In June 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” During the Regan era the number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997. Today the numbers are more like 700,000 people still arrested for marijuana offenses each year and almost 500,000 people still behind bars for nothing more than a drug law violation. (75% if these people are Black and Brown)

These numbers mean that many Black and Brown Americans probably know or is related to someone in jail for marijuana. Yep, it’s that real. Many of us are effected by the War on Drugs and we need to talk about it. We need to begin to gather to heal the deep rooted wounds caused by this war. This is what they mean when they use the big word “disenfranchised.” They are referring to our plight.

I’m so angry I really don’t have anything else to say.

Watch this video!

The Generation of The War on Drugs

It’s becoming easier to forget the victims of inequality and unjust caused by The War on Drugs. Those Brown and Black brothers, fathers, uncles and cousins that were targeted for incarceration. The people whos faces and names are easily ignored as important as Cannabis is legalized across the land. As if there wasn’t a real war that involved people’s lives being changed and men and women being separated from thier homes.

I can’t help but wonder will my sons, sons be the generation to say, “I’m 1 generation from The War on Drugs” the same way I declare I’m 3 generations from slavery? Will those lives, whom are now illegally incarcerated in some states, be forgotten the same way Texas forgot the Sugar Land’s slavery and convict-leasing graves? Will all of America finally “do the right thing” and follow California’s lead by releasing ALL convicted Cannabis offenders?

I’m sorry I’m full of questions and not many answers today. But that’s exactly it, I’m full of questions because there are no answers. I appreciate and participate in the politics of Legalization, never forgetting who I am and what I represent. However I can’t always see the end result clearly and I’m not always sure I’m fighting the RIGHT fight. I have to be honest with myself and my readers and say, “SOMETIMES even I just see the money”

As a consultant there are times when my personal ethics are challenged. I call it my “Minority Over Money” challenge. I have to remind myself that assisting a Minority Cannabis business owner has more value than just money. Although often they are unable to pay as much as thier counterparts the reward isn’t in the dollars but also in serving my community…. AND the struggle is REAL! What if I don’t make the right choice? Am I am adding to the offense America is making against my people? Its important to get paid but equally important that I don’t forget that we are STILL at war.

Canada’s country wide Legalization resulted in America denying Canadians that are in the Cannabis industry pass thier borders. Also, those Americans that celebrated Legalization in thier own state are still criminals in another. It’s true some states have revised thier Cannabis laws attempting to prevent over policing Cannabis users. There are those other states, like Oklahoma, where they encourage Hemp farms but police Cannabis consumption and possession. Those states are furthering the efforts of the war.

The War on Drugs wasn’t to fight Marijuana exclusively and “maybe” wasnt to target Black and Brown men. But (hate to start my sentence with a but) I do wanna point out that according to the DEA in 2014 over 74,000 people were arrested for marijuana and only 33,000 for Cocaine and 44,000 for Hallucinogens. To add salt to the wound, The ACLU reports that Black men are 3 times more likely to be arrested for drugs. Although Blacks, Hispanics and white Americans reportedly use drugs EQUALLY. Black and Hispanics make up 29% of the over all nations population yet 75% of the prisons population. Meanwhile we are crying real tears for the separation of families at the borders. (Shade)

I’d like to believe there is some justice served by the War on Drugs. I’m not all the way jaded against the American Legal system. I STILL believe there could be “Liberty and Justice for All!” I want to believe that somehow targeting Black and Brown men for drugs was the cure to illegality. I’d even like to go as far as to say, I believe; all of God’s children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” (DOCTOR King “I have a Dream) but this is 2018 and it’s more probable to believe that Cannabis will not be rescheduled until 2020. 47 states will legalize marijuana in some form by 2019 and there will be no laws passed to ensure reasonable standards of release for those effected by the War on drugs.

A’Esha “The GREAT ” Goins

I’m Just Slanging Weed

In the industry I joke about the guy who is still slanging marijuana as a gig. How he must really have had to learn his profession to compete with big industry. How “slanging” trees probably has had to become a passion not just a hobby. How at this point, he should consider going legit or get a new gig!

Actually, that is “I joked” past tense. My awareness to my community struggling to understand the dynamics of an industry that capitalizes on them as consumers but doesn’t allow them entry as owners is diabolical. The truth of falsely criminalizing people of color to easily marginalize them later is criminal. It’s constant with the way America works but looked upon as a habit.

I remember shrugging off the idea that Big Business would take over the Cannabis industry. Why would Big Business want to take a risk like Cannabis. You can’t bank and you can’t duplicate the model. How would Big Business find this “risk” worth taking?

I was WRONG!! Big Business is here

Simply put, the money keeps flowing. I’m sure they believe, everything else will work itself out.

Meanwhile people of color are still in prison on crimes Big Business is making billions off of. Oh, and I haven’t forgotten the fucking war on drugs was really a war on people. War is Big Business! Of course! I’m shaking my damn head at that bullshit!

I digress.

As I, a woman of color, fight the war of marginalization in life, I mean business, my bad. I see far too clearly how difficult the road ahead is

1. I’m Black in an industry where I’m 6 times more likely to get arrested for possession over my white counterparts.

2. I’m a leading woman in an industry where I’m usually best served as the pretty glorified Cannabis waitress (budtender)

3. I’m a black woman that has been depicted in media as a haughty, aggressive, foul mouthed, emotionally ignorant person.

I may not be out here like the small Cannabis busines owner “slanging” my products. But I am out here! I’m fighting my own wars in this industry. Trying to manipulate the codes and maneuver through regulations to ensure justice for that small business owner that wants HIS chance at the free flowing money risk.

I Am STILL Black and in Cannabis

We are 50 years past the Civil Rights act becoming law and I’m STILL worried about being a “double” minority in my work place.

It’s been a little over 6 week’s since I started my new job and position. I am now the Marketing Director for a cannabis wholesale company. I truly love my job. I enjoy creating new ideas and honestly “just doing business.” This job truly is a dream come true. Since the day I fell in love with Cannabis I’ve wanted to be able to impact the products that make it to the market. I believe in quality and patient specific medicine and that is the core of this company.

Recently the company did a leadership change. There was no warning. The current CEO retired and then there was a new CEO the next day.

When my current CEO left the office I had a moment with my office mate. I call her my kindred spirit sister. She’s a smart humble married white woman that works part time because she has prioritized being a mother over business. Like me, she loves our God and loves people unconditionally. I call her my kindred spirit sister because she lives the life I wish I had and does that unapologetically. In the 21st century choosing to be a wife and a mother over breaking the glass ceiling is a courageous choice.

In our moment we talked about her fears and concerns. She described what she thought was her non importance. I shared with her how leadership change can be just what the company needed to get to the next level. As we chatted and I eased her concern I had indirectly eased mine as well. I finished my day and slept well that night.

The next day I came in early as I always do and began my work day. A little later the retiring CEO came in. He was uneasy and I could feel it. His energy was so nervous it was stressing me out. I had to go for a walk and dose. I knew the change was hard for him but good grief! When I returned, my office mate had started her day. She immediately told me she hadn’t slept well. I told her not to worry. Asked her to take her CBD and it would all be ok.

As the day went on everyone was becoming more and more nervous. It was driving me crazy!! As much as I tried not to give in to worry, my environment wouldn’t have it. As I sat at my desk working, it dawned on me. I am a Black woman with locs sitting in an executive role in a predominantly white Male industry. I panicked! I mean I literally panicked! I started crying and had to excuse myself.

The Civil Rights act passed to ensure that all men and women are created equal. The reality that people are STILL marching for me to get an equal wage as a woman and #BlacklivesMatter is an actual movement to remind people not to forget I’m their equal, all flooded my mind at once. I had forgotten I was black. Not that I don’t look in the mirror everyday and affirm my black beauty, but for a few weeks I was being judged on merit alone.

Don’t get me wrong I was working in black girl excellence EVERY DAY but that’s many of my sistas personal work ethic. We know someone is always after our job, so we out work everyone else as a habit. What I’m saying is, I hadn’t had to deal with anyone that didn’t know my capabilities. My ethnicity wasn’t in question because my performance spoke louder.

Here I am, in an executive office, judging myself as being “too black.” I started questioning my hair choice over my resume. I was panicking and had to share with someone. I hadn’t told my family about the change, because I didn’t need the added stress. I chose my kindred spirit sister. I knew the understanding would be a little over her head but I had shared many other intimate things with her and she handled them well. I sobbed as I told her I was concerned. I told her I share with her comfortably because we are the same and want the same things. That our friendship had allowed me to believe in the impossible again. I thanked her for loving me and affirming me as a lady not just a woman. But as much as we were the Same we are different and in THIS moment I’m super aware of our differences.

I explained to her that in spight of my loving disposition my black skin could change my being “firm” as me being aggressive. That although I’m a team player, my quick business wit could be considered non compliant and my “lets get the job done” could be considered impatient. That all the things my resume says could be non existent in the case of being black. I explained that my hair could be considered a trait of defiant or lazy behavior. I told her I was afraid of who he sees when he sees my confidence in my black skin.

Although I’m sure some of what I said was foreign to her. She didn’t disregard my fear. She emphasized and told me she wished the world was different but she knew I was right. She said exactly what I needed my “friend” to say, she said… I hope he gives himself the opportunity to know the asset you are.

I took my CBD tincture and waited for the calming effect to happen. Once it did I was ok again and I got back to work.

My new CEO did allow himself the opportunity to get to know me. AFTER he agreed to keep me on, I shared with him my concerns. I had an honest and open dialog with him. He received it and told me he’s aware of the “good ol boy” ideology of this industry but he assured me, he expected the same level of excellence from ALL his employees. He said everyone would be rewarded or not based on their merit. And I believe him.

TERPINES AND THEIR THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Read up on TERPINES AND THEIR THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS because consultants/budtenders in the Cannabis industry are going to have “their hands full!”
For the most part, patients will come into dispensaries with a fair amount of questions in need of answering. The most predictable and least impressive of them all “What’s the highest *THC?” If I can achieve one thing I want the over rated significance of THC Percentage  VERSUS the under rated value of the TERPINE PROFILE to be common knowledge. If you have ever smoked a strain that supposedly was an impressive high THC (like 27%) and thought ” that strain I just tried with an 18% THC was SUPERIOR than the 27%? What gives?”
join the club!
Ready for the logical explanation? The various terpinoids ie Alpha Pinine or beta caryophyllene are responsible for the distinct smells of the seemingly never ending amount of marijuana strains on the market today. in addition to smell these terpines also give us the effects, euphoria being the most well known. yet still its only one effect of many, most of them beneficial. This is where the significance of the terpine profile lies. When given symptoms a knowledgeable consultant can recommend or substitute a strain for a patient with precision accuracy. This is why experienced informed industry advocates say when discussing cannabis as a medicine it should be done in strain specific terms. Let me give you an example.The terpine Linalool usually expresses itself in purple tones. Found in strains like Purple Kush, and God’s Gift. It has a relaxing effect. Stimulates appetite. the traits associated with marijuana as a whole or “Indica strains” are actually the result of the terpines. Using this approach you can imagine the possibilities, this and other ground breaking advancements are spearheading the green revolution. In my future posts ill go into topics like Cannabidiol (cbd), Who the hell is Rick Simpson? THCA THE ALPHA, “Where the suburbs end” WILL BE A COMPILATION OF INTERESTING PERSONAL EXPERIENCES INVOLVING MARIJUANA. The pit will have a mix of education, comic relief, as well as current events relevant to our industry. Ah yes! THE OLD RULES are king once again. I’m talking
Pre Harrison narcotics act. Thanks for checking in, ya’ll know…It goes down in the pit!

– Black Cherry-

*THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)