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About This Episode
The cannabis industry has brought lucrative returns for the fortunate entrepreneurs who have had access and means to enter this competitive space. Unfortunately, not everyone has either one, much less both. Access has always been a challenge, even in states that have already legalized cannabis for adult use. Most states require licenses to operate dispensaries, manufacturing laboratories and cultivation facilities. Applying for a license can be an expensive, laborious process, often requiring applicants to undergo background checks, navigate rigid regulatory requirements and pay hefty, non-refundable application fees. Then they wait. Qualification does not guarantee that an applicant will be granted a license, and the selection methods vary by state.
What doesn’t vary by state is the way the process has excluded some aspiring entrepreneurs who lack sufficient capital and disqualified others when a background check uncovers a felony marijuana offense.
Federal legalization has potential to level the playing field and make it easier for those marginalized entrepreneurs to compete for the coveted licenses. In the meanwhile, some states have begun to write social equity provisions into their medical and adult-use cannabis laws. Nonprofit organizations have also stepped up to provide resources, mentorship, capital sources and legal support necessary to not only qualify for state licenses but also launch a thriving cannabis enterprise.
Our guest, Samuel Richard has been advocating for social equity in the cannabis industry as the Executive Director of Arizona Dispensaries Association and shares some amazing insights.
About Our Guest
Samuel Richard is the Executive Director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association (ADA), which serves as the political and legal voice of Arizona’s cannabis industry dedicated to advancing best practices through advocacy, education and mentorship. With a degree in nonprofit leadership and management from Arizona State University’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Known for his expertise in complex government affairs, communications, and media plans, he has been recognized by the Arizona Capitol Times in its inaugural Breakouts Award highlighting “the sharpest political minds in the state.” He was previously recognized in the Phoenix New Times’ Best of Phoenix as Best Lobbyist and by the Phoenix Business Journal as a member of the 2013 class of Forty under 40. He also holds certificates from both Valley Leadership and the Center for Progressive Leadership and is also a Fellow of the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy.
We appreciate our partners!
If not for the generosity of our partners and sponsors, we wouldn’t be here! We’d first like to express gratitude for our radio sponsor Sunstate Technology Group and Cannasphere Biotech. We are grateful! We’d also like to shout out to XRQK Radio Network and Society Bytes Radio Network for broadcasting our show and Cannabis Radio for helping us spread the word online. Theme song “Evergreen” by Erik Godal. © Snowden Bishop 2021-All Rights Reserved.