A few months ago I received an email from a young man in New York. This is an excerpt from that communication.
I graduated from Amherst College with a Major in Economics and Chinese. I’ve worked for UBS in NYC and Switzerland as well as the London Stock Exchange in Hong Kong. I was admitted to MLT as cohort my junior in college and started my own nonprofit last summer. I came across your nonprofit as I am attempting to do the same thing in NYC
New York has already said they will ONLY approve 5 companies to open dispensaries starting January 2016. The barriers to entry are very high and the initial investment cost to apply are obnoxious (~$2-4million),
The focus of my idea is to reinvest the excess profits (outside of what is already being used to maintain and grow the business) in social impact projects (that ultimately save the state money over time). Although whites engage in drug offenses at the same rate as people of color, the war on drugs and the prison industrial complex has adversely targeted and impacted people of color, therefore the same drug laws that unfairly targeted and penalized people of color at a higher rate, ultimately impeding people of color’s ability to gain employment, and accumulate wealth, should NOW be reinvested back into those same communities as social impact investment projects.
For example, 5% of a medical marijuana dispensary’s profits, let’s say $10mln, is invested in vocational training and employment for ex-convicts of small drug possession crimes, whereby through the training and employment you could stop the perpetual cycle of poverty and their dependency on the state in the form of social welfare programs, food stamps, etc...and help these people becomes contributors to the state. If invested and tracked properly could save the state up to $30-$50mln in food stamps, subsidized housing, and other social welfare programs that can be very costly to the state.
Other projects include opening new schools in low income areas that were closed due to budget cuts (my nonprofit last summer provided funds to students without textbooks), rehabilitation centers, vocational training, employment practices, daycare centers for single mother, etc...Goldman has a massive group called the Urban Investment Group that makes investments into these social impact investment projects all the time.
Since Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana there have been 20 new white millionaires, these people are not reinvesting back into the communities. There’s a million dispensaries applying, but few that are focused on the social welfare of the people and I believe the state would give preferential approval to a dispensary that is not only focused on providing marijuana but is also focused on the social welfare of the people.
While I would like to team up with a company or fund that already has a vertically integrated system to pitch my idea to the state, I am also considering going right to the legislatures and making the idea a mandate for all companies who receive a license to sell in NY.
I would love to speak with you all and discuss what you are working on and how we can collaborate.
We have since this early introduction, attempted to get someone to listen. Blacks deserve a set aside in every state that produces, cultivates or sells cannabis and/or industrial hemp. Point in case is not only the failure of the government to provide emancipated slaves the 40 acres and a mule. Pigford vs. Glickman settlement was a class action lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), alleging racial discrimination in its allocation of farm loans and assistance between 1981 and 1996. The lawsuit ended with a settlement on April 14, 1999, by Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Less than 14,000 farmers received the settlement totaling nearly 1billion in settlement dollars. Compare that to the estimated $6.4 Trillion that should be owed today. It’s a pittance.
Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which allows some nurseries in the state to grow and distribute low-THC marijuana to patients who suffer from cancer, seizures, and muscle spasms. But the law stipulates that those who qualify for licensing must have operated as a registered nursery in Florida for 30 consecutive years — a criterion that many, if not all, black farmers are unable to meet. /black-farmers-florida-medical-marijuana/
Wanda James is the only black legal cannabis dispensary owner in the state of Colorado. As far as I am able to document, she is the only black in the industry. Her brother was arrested in 1996 for possession of 4.5 ounces of cannabis, at the time he was just 17-years-old. He did a total of 10 years in the criminal justice system, including 3.5 years as an inmate in a private prison in Texas where he worked for free picking cotton. That is slavery!
These are just a few of the reasons I am working with 40acrepharm. We have a temporary website. The young people in New York have started putting together financials and investment materials. We will continue to scream MAKE THIS FAIR until someone listens.