- The new program will educate new cannabis businesses on compliance, marketing, and more.
- The 10-week program concludes with a pitch to investors to get involved with the new business.
The cannabis industry is being flooded with new companies and new products as legalization efforts progress. However, due to the changing landscape of the industry, there are plenty of businesses that need some help with the entry into the market. Eaze, the cannabis marketplace, as well as partners Ultra native and Bail Capital, announced the launch of a new program called Momentum. Momentum is a business accelerator that will help with the success and growth of this industry.
The first class to come from the accelerator will open the door for ten participants, as the companies award a $50,000 grant and the ability to participate in a ten-week education program that 40 industry volunteer experts will contribute to. The participants will also have access to the Eaze ecosystem of resources for business operations, marketing, and retailers. At the end of the accelerator program, the participants will have the change to pitch to investors in the industry to grow in their funding for their separate businesses.
Jen Lujan, the Director of Social Impact for Eaze, stated,
“Starting a new cannabis business can be especially challenging for entrepreneurs who have been historically marginalized or victimized by the War on Drugs. All cannabis operators have a responsibility to help build a diverse and equitable industry, and Momentum is another way Eaze and our partners are supporting this important goal.”
Applications are open to any licensed founder, or founder in the process of getting licensed, that has face barriers socially or economically in their journey to get involved with the legal cannabis market. Every application will be reviewed with the mindset of the chances and potential for success, the experience of the applicant, and their current barriers they are facing with their market entry. Any THC-based business has to be licensed through state-level and local jurisdiction, while CBD businesses must already be involved with the Federal hemp pilot program.
The advisory committee that will be evaluating and selecting the participants in Momentum’s inaugural class includes:
- Mary Pryor, co-founder of Cannaclusive
- Malaki Seku Amen, CEO of California Urban Partnership
- Wanda Knox, the CEO of Make Green Go
- Ramon Garcia, the co-founder of Padre Mu Delivery and Distribution and co-founder of SF Equity Working Group
- Ford Smith, co-founder of Ultranative
- Zack Carpenter, partner at Bail Capital
- Steve Hawkins, executive director at Marijuana Policy Project
- Nidhi Lucky Handa, the CEO of Leune
Smith commented that he believes Momentum is offering a “huge opportunity” to partner with them, paving the way for a diverse industry. During their class, he stated that Momentum will be “providing support and resources that small businesses in the cannabis industry need to become more profitable and sustainable.”
Amen believes that Momentum’s program will allow for these small businesses “to build and expand relationships between founders and industry leaders working together to form a strong and equitable cannabis industry.” He added that he and California Urban Partnership are “honored” to be in collaboration with Eaze, allowing them to support unique brands and promote greater revenue in the cannabis industry.
The social impact work of Eaze also includes their partnership with Code for America, which is working to clear low-level criminal offenses for individuals. They are also hoping to establish permanent 25% discounts for veterans while partnering with Success Centers SF and the San Francisco AIDS project, among others.
Interested parties can apply at Eaze.com/momentum.