Lantern, a leading cannabis e-commerce marketplace has launched a social Equity Incubator Program in New York dubbed the New York Cannabis Project. This is the fifth such mentorship program run by the company.
The New York Cannabis Project aims to empower Social Equity applicants with the knowledge and technical skills that are needed to make them become successful entrepreneurs in the New York cannabis industry. The project focus is on enhancing cannabis education, providing technical skills and business mentorship, and helping with license applications. To successfully achieve the broad objective of the project, it has been segmented into the following sections:
- Business fundamentals
- Go-to-market strategy
- Community Impact
- The cannabis industry
At each step of the mentorship program, the facilitators provide educational and training resources to the participants who are drawn from communities that were most adversely affected by the war on drugs.
The New York Cannabis Project is working in collaboration with two groups towards the launching of the Bronx Cannabis Hub which aims to provide New Yorkers with the tools needed to exploit the economic potential of the cannabis industry. This includes providing job-readiness training for those looking to venture into the industry.
In 2019, Lantern launched its premier social Equity program in Boston. A subsequent Social Equity business course was later launched in Colorado in partnership with The Color of Cannabis. The third incubator program was launched in collaboration with Calyxeum in Michigan and was dubbed the Detroit Cannabis Project. The New Jersey Cannabis Project was launched shortly after.
The failed war on drugs disproportionately affected minority communities. “In spite of similar use rates, blacks are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use as compared to whites.” Communities of color have borne the greatest brunt of cannabis prohibition, it remains very difficult for them to gain entry into the legal cannabis industry due to insurmountable systemic barriers. This includes lack of access to capital, lack of technical expertise, and poor business skills in general. Social Equity programs exist to help level the playing field and help minorities harness the economic potential of an industry that they fought so hard to have legalized.
The Head of Equity Partnerships at Lantern, Akele Parnell, is both passionate and optimistic about the New York Project. This is what he had to say;
“The New York Cannabis Project builds upon the efforts of our four previous social equity programs. Lantern remains committed to generating opportunities for communities disproportionately impacted by the criminalization of cannabis and the company is excited about the opportunity to help advance social equity in New York.”
Lantern is a leading on-demand cannabis e-commerce marketplace and home delivery platform that's based in the U.S. Applications for the New York Cannabis Project are currently available online. For more information on the program, please visit https://www.nycannabisproject.org/apply.
What will it take for minority communities that were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs to create generational wealth from the cannabis industry?
We shall be engaging Meridith Mahoney, Co-founder and CEO of Lantern soon to gain insights on this issue. Keep checking back.