What we fund, what we advocate.
A fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund.
What we fund, what we advocate.
A fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund.
Cage-Free Repair is the 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of our organization, responsible for our advocacy, event coordination, and the distribution of the net profits generated by Cage-Free Cannabis. Cage-Free Repair is a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund.
Cage-Free Repair helped launch the first-ever National Expungement Week
and supports organizations that provide services like:
assisting with re-entry from incarceration,
youth development and empowerment,
healing from trauma,
community-based gang intervention,
organizing against the systematic injustice of the Drug War,
and creating cannabis-related businesses that hire, empower, and include communities of color.
A 2016 BuzzFeed survey indicates that only 1% of licensed marijuana dispensaries in the U.S. are owned by African-Americans.
The numbers are similarly low for Latinx ownership.
Creating an inclusive cannabis industry is one of the core elements of any reparative plan.
These are 3 Los Angeles-based groups whose work we love and support.
All of Us or None is a grassroots civil and human rights organization fighting for the rights of formerly- and currently-incarcerated people and our families. We are fighting against the discrimination that people face every day because of arrest or conviction history and we are building a powerful political movement to win full restoration of our human and civil rights.
Homies Unidos works to end violence and promote peace in our communities by empowering youth and their families to become advocates for social justice rather than agents of self-destruction. We offer an alternative vision to incarceration, deportation, and repressive and ineffective zero-tolerance “gang abatement” and “band-aid” social service strategies. Instead, Homies Unidos presents culturally competent access to alternative education, leadership development, self-esteem building, and health education programs tied to social justice advocacy programs that make a difference in the streets and homes of our community.
Welcome Home LA hosts the Reentry Resource Fair, a monthly event for all formerly incarcerated individuals and their families returning to the community from juvenile halls, probation camps, jails, and prisons. We provide a supportive atmosphere where we celebrate, congratulate, and educate with FREE goods and services, such as Hygiene Kits, Clothing, HIV testing, Hot Catered Meals, Bus Passes, Cell Phones, and other FREE wrap around services that can assist with successful reentry.
In collaboration with community members, Cage-Free Cannabis has created a set of recommendations for cities, counties, and states to adopt as they implement cannabis regulations. These include "social equity programs," such as the one pioneered by Oakland, CA, as well as tax revenue allocations.
All recommendations proceed from the assumption that the cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis should be legal and regulated. Prior convictions for having participated in this industry should be immediately, and automatically, expunged and/or reclassified.
Social Equity and Tax Revenue Allocation Recommendations
Cannabis Equity Oversight Committee
- Develop a permanent Cannabis Equity Oversight Committee to ensure and guide implementation of all the equity recommendations, monitor and track efforts, including tracking and analysis of enforcement (citations, arrests, business closures, etc.) and access to medicinal marijuana, to ensure that it is equitable. The Oversight Committee should report on findings no less than one time per calendar year.
Social Equity Licensing Program
- Institute a program akin to Oakland & Los Angeles' proposed program, which prioritize a one-for-one approach, in which applicants from communities disproportionately impacted by the Drug War receive licenses in a one-for-one ratio with all other applicants. (NOTE: Definition of what it means to be impacted needs to be easier to prove than it has been in Oakland.) An equity applicant would need to be defined by a combination of criteria, including geography, impacted person status, income level, and other factors, but not to be so stringent that hardly anyone qualifies.
- Provide technical, capacity building, and fiscal sustainability assistance for social equity applicants.
- Provide loan and banking assistance for social equity applicants.
- Open mentorship programs that can support the one-for-one approach for social equity applicants.
- Develop publicly-funded incubators and accelerators for cannabis entrepreneurs (this should include ancillary businesses as well as licensed businesses) from those communities.
- Prioritize licenses to cannabis businesses where at least 51% of their employees are formerly incarcerated or convicted.
Hiring, Job Training, & Community Outreach
- Open job training, workforce development programs, and workforce placement programs that prioritize those most impacted by the drug war (retail, manufacturing, ancillary, agricultural, administrative, etc.).
- Fund community outreach (performed by non-law enforcement agents) to existing, unlicensed operators in order to transition them into licensees.
- Fund community outreach to people impacted by prohibition, and host Reentry Fairs to educate them on the employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the cannabis industry.
- Prioritize the employment of formerly incarcerated people in all cannabis-related community outreach, tracking, and employment training programs. (We recommend a hiring target of 50% for workers who have been impacted by the War on Drugs and/or would qualify as Social Equity License Applicants).
- Fund youth centers and after-school programming by community-based organizations as the primary means of youth access prevention.
- Exclude ALL drug offenses from background offense restrictions. Further, background checks should only apply to cannabis business applicants as opposed to employees of cannabis operations. Business applicants with recent convictions should also be afforded the option to petition for reconsideration to present “evidence of rehabilitation”, which the Cannabis Equity Oversight Committee should specifically define. (Further Clarification: The background checks only apply to owners. If someone was recently convicted of fraud or a violent offense, they may be excluded from taking ownership positions, but have an opportunity to petition for reconsideration. If someone was convicted and served time for any kind of drug offense, allow them to take any kind of business ownership position. Owners may conduct background checks on potential employees, but they are not required to do so.)
Community Benefits Agreements
- Require all licenses cannabis businesses to develop and execute a community benefits agreement (CBA). The CBA can take make forms, which can be fleshed out by the Equity Oversight Committee, some of which may include % profit giveback to community organizations, serving as an incubator to an equity applicant, community clean-ups.
Tax Revenue Allocation
- Allocate funds needed for regulating the cannabis industry, including law enforcement, in an amount not to exceed 20% of annual revenue. The remaining 80% should be broken out in the following way:
· No less than 50% of the annual revenue should be directed to youth access prevention, including direct funding to youth centers and after-school programming, public health funding, research and reporting funding, with no less than 75% of this funding to go to community based organizations.
· No less than 20% of annual revenue should go to an “Equity Fund,” established to support equity applicants.
· No less than 10% of annual revenue will be directed to local community colleges for job training, workforce development and workforce programs (retail, manufacturing, ancillary, agricultural, administrative), prioritizing enrollment by those most impacted by the drug war.
The best model cannabis legislation that we've seen in the U.S. was developed as a collaborative project led by the Minority Cannabis Business Association in cooperation with participants from Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Cannabis Cultural Association, Drug Policy Alliance, Greenlining Institute, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, National Cannabis Festival, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Families for Justice as Healing, Denver Relief Consulting, and THC Staffing Group. Legal support was provided by the Law Office of Richard M. Juang, Wyatt Legal Consulting, Rachelle Yeung, Esq., Shaleen Title, Esq., Shabnam Malek, Esq., Thomas Silverstein, Esq., and the law firm of Vicente Sederberg, LLC. The generous support of Kayvan Khalatbari made this project possible.