The legalization of cannabis through proposition 64 has opened a new industry for many across California. Unfortunately, most of these businesses, particularly in San Diego County, are run by wealthy white men, with access to funding and capital. Councilman Chris Ward believes this needs to change. This spring Ward plans to introduce a proposal to the economical development committee which will provide support to small businesses and allow for disadvantaged neighborhoods to open cannabis companies promoting economic growth within these communities. This Economic Development Program will be modeled after programs recently launched in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Oakland.
Ward Believes starting with the community by asking what it is that they need to succeed, and building the program off of this will be the key to its success. He takes this idea from the way Sacramento has built its Social Equity Programs. This program will help level the playing field for Economical Development adding to several other development programs the city already has in operation. Despite some local confusion regarding where the funding is coming from and what exactly this program will do for San Diego, Ward is moving forward gathering information by talking with local residents and business owner to make this happen. He will take the proposal to the committee in the spring after collecting community data and information on their specific needs in establishing a cannabis business in San Diego. This is a much-needed change for the minority communities and will allow so many to prosper in this booming industry.
See his interview on KUSI https://www.kusi.com/san-diego-cannabis-equity-program-proposal/