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Denver opens its first Social Equity Technical Assistance program for aspiring entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry

“As with any business start-up, there is a substantial learning curve for both tangible and intangible elements of business ownership. In partnership with The Color of Cannabis, we’ve developed this rigorous curriculum to meet the unique needs cannabis social equity applicants,” said Jen Morris, DEDO Executive Director. “It is also important for us to reinvest our local marijuana sales tax dollars into the community to level the playing field for wealth-building within the industry.”

“We are pleased to bring our commitment to greater ownership equity in the cannabis industry to this historic program,” said Sarah Woodson, CEO and founder of The Color of Cannabis. “We’ll serve several small-group cohorts over the next year and surround them with advice, mentoring, information, and encouragement.”

DEDO’s program builds upon Denver’s social equity program, which reduces barriers to entry into the cannabis industry by:

  • Allowing only social equity applicants to conduct cannabis deliveries for three years (until July 1, 2024);
  • Ensuring that social equity applicants have exclusive access to most cannabis licenses for six years (until July 1, 2027);
  • Waiving application fees and reducing license fees for social equity applicants; and
  • Providing a free program to have certain low-level marijuana conviction records sealed.

The 10-week curriculum will include subject matter experts on topics such as the history and politics of the industry, compliance, delivery, and hospitality as well as marketing and best practices. Success metrics in the program will include the number of social equity applicant businesses who complete the 10-week curriculum, become licensed, raise capital, create jobs, and/or continue to operate with social equity ownership at 12- and 24-month milestones.

Those interested in this program are encouraged to learn more and register here. The deadline for registration is Friday, July 15 at 5 p.m. with the initial training session occurring on July 23. A kick-off event for the initial cohort will be held on Thursday, July 21 from 4-7 p.m.

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