4 min read

Social Equity Programs in the Cannabis Industry: Promoting Inclusivity and Diversity

January 5, 2023

The War on Drugs in the United States has had a significant impact on communities and individuals, particularly those from minority backgrounds. This campaign, which began in the 1970s and aimed to combat drug abuse and trafficking, has disproportionately affected people of color and led to a disproportionate number of arrests and incarceration for drug offenses.

The impact of the War on Drugs has been devastating, leading to the destruction of families and communities and contributing to the mass incarceration crisis in the United States. It has also had a lasting effect on those who have been caught up in the criminal justice system, making it difficult for them to find employment and rebuild their lives after serving their sentences.

Despite the negative consequences of the War on Drugs, the cannabis industry has presented a new opportunity for those who have been disproportionately affected. As more and more states legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, the cannabis industry has grown significantly, providing new employment and business opportunities.

However, these opportunities have not been equally available to all, with those from minority backgrounds often being left behind. This is where the Social Equity Program comes in. The government helps cannabis social equity license holders through a Social Equity Program by providing financial assistance or grants to cover the costs of starting and operating a cannabis business. This could include funding for things like business plan development, marketing and branding, legal fees, and other operational expenses.

In addition, the government can provide access to resources such as business development support, mentorship, and networking opportunities to help social equity license holders succeed in the industry. The government can also work to ensure that social equity license holders have access to the same opportunities as non-social equity license holders, such as by providing fair and equal access to licensing and permitting processes, and by implementing regulations that level the playing field for all businesses. 

Implementing a social equity program in the cannabis industry can be a complex and challenging process, as it requires addressing a variety of issues and challenges, including the need to overcome stigma and discrimination, and the need to ensure that these programs are fairly and equitably administered. However, by addressing these issues and promoting inclusivity and diversity within the industry, social equity programs can help to create a more just and equitable cannabis industry that benefits everyone.

In an effort to repair the harm caused by the War on Drugs and create an equitable ownership and employment environment, companies in the cannabis industry are coming up with their own offers to eligible entrepreneurs. IndicaOnline is one of the first POS software providers in the cannabis industry to launch its own Social Equity Program by offering a 1-year free subscription to its Elite plan for qualified Social Equity license holders.

IndicaOnline aims to give a head start to those who may have been previously disadvantaged due to the War on Drugs or their minority status.

To be eligible for the IndicaOnline Social Equity Program, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are not currently an IndicaOnline customer;
  • Your store is owned by a member of an underrepresented group in the cannabis industry (such as a minority, woman, or service-disabled veteran);
  • You, as the store owner, have had previous marijuana convictions or have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs before state legalization, but do not have a history of selling to minors or a violent criminal record;
  • Your store currently holds a social equity license issued by a state agency.

IndicaOnline offers a range of services and solutions for cannabis businesses. The Elite plan is its most comprehensive offering, designed to help your business thrive and grow. 1 year full subscription saves companies 6000$, which is a significant benefit to a newly created cannabis dispensary.

Some of the benefits of the IndicaOnline Elite plan include:

  • Advanced inventory management tools, including real-time tracking and alerts for low stock levels;
  • A customizable point-of-sale system with support for multiple payment methods;
  • Advanced reporting and analytics, including sales trends, customer data, and employee performance;
  • Customizable marketing campaigns to help drive customer engagement and retention;
  • Integration with leading industry software and hardware providers. 

By choosing the IndicaOnline Elite plan, you will have access to all of these features and more, helping you to streamline your operations and better serve your customers.

In conclusion, the War on Drugs in the United States has had a devastating impact on communities and individuals, particularly those from minority backgrounds. Social equity programs in the cannabis industry are a way to address this imbalance and create a more just and equitable industry. Companies like IndicaOnline are taking steps to provide resources and support to individuals from disproportionately impacted communities to enter the cannabis industry. While implementing a social equity program in the cannabis industry can be complex and challenging, it is an important step toward creating a more inclusive and diverse industry that benefits everyone.

You can apply to our social equity program here.