SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Eaze, California’s largest marketplace for legal cannabis, today announced expanded efforts to support an equitable cannabis industry: A major menu expansion in Los Angeles featuring Black and POC-owned brands, and the Social Equity Partners Program, a multi-point initiative to assist and elevate equity license holders.
Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Menu, which already features well-recognized brands Cloud 9, KGB Reserve, and SF Roots in Northern California, is debuting all of its equity brands in the greater Los Angeles market and welcoming LA-based Dreamt, Blaqstar Farms, and Bay Area-based James Henry SF and Oakland Extracts to the menu.
The menu makes it easy for consumers to support a diverse industry, and address the War on Drugs’ disproportionate effects on the BIPOC community, by putting their dollars toward these brands. Customers can simply visit Eaze.com to order products, which range from unique flower to prerolls to a sleep-aid vape pen.
In a first move for the cannabis industry, Eaze announced its multi-point Social Equity Partners Program, which provides brands with financial and operational support to help them scale and succeed on Eaze and beyond. Specifically, Social Equity Partners are eligible for a variety of benefits, including:
- Preferred financing and payment structuring
- Discounted access to Eaze Partner Portal data
- Incorporation into the Eaze supply chain
- Marketing and public relations support
Brands on Eaze’s Social Equity Menu must either hold a social equity license, or be actively engaged in the application process for an equity license in a city or county. Since Eaze launched its equity menu in the Bay Area market, social equity brands have been well received by consumers with high and consistent demand. To date, social equity brands have sold nearly $1M of products on the Eaze platform.
“We’re proud to offer these incredible brands industry-leading terms that support their growth by addressing chronic small business challenges that include access to capital, tight cash flow, and customer education,” said Darius Kemp, Eaze’s Head of Equity and Change. “Shopping these brands is one of the best ways consumers can support equity and consume conscientiously.”
“Consumers are more thoughtful than ever about the products they consume and ensuring they come from a brand that aligns with their values, and cannabis is no exception,” said LA-based Blaqstar Farms’ Founder and CEO Bryant Mitchell. “Eaze is an exceptional partner for Black-owned cannabis brands, allowing us to step into the spotlight and reach consumers who not only want a fantastic product but want to know their dollars are going towards a new generation of Black cannabis entrepreneurs.”
Eaze’s equity menu includes:
- Blaqstar Farms: The son of the first Black police officer in the city of Orange, Texas, Bryant Mitchell grew up and saw many peers, family members and friends lost to and affected by the War on Drugs. It wasn’t until 2001, after he graduated college and went into consulting in the Bay Area, that he became immersed in cannabis and saw the results of pain relief and so many other benefits. These professional and life experiences led Bryant to establish Blaqstar Farms in 2012 in Los Angeles. A selection of Blaqstar Farms products, including premium flower The Glue, Thin Mint and Orange Rose to prerolls Boss OG, Doc OG, Super Sour and F3, are available the week of September 14 on Eaze.
- Cloud9: Degi Simmons, founder of Oakland-based Cloud9, has been involved in cannabis commerce and culture since the earliest days of Proposition 215. As a beneficiary of Oakland’s Koncepts Cultural Gallery, an organization promoting art and education funded by Better Us dispensary, Degi partnered with cultivator and DJ Clayton Whitaker to form Cloud9 in 2010. A selection of Cloud9 flower, featuring Sour Diesel for sativa and Runtz for indica, are now available on Eaze.
- Dreamt is an award-winning science-backed sleep aid created by Carolina Vazquez Mitchell, a nationally recognized cannabis scientist. Dreamt’s 45-night pen and 30-night tincture contain THC, CBD, melatonin, valerian root, and terpenes, and are now available on Eaze.
- James Henry SF: Co-founders Henry Alston and James Victor are on a mission to improve the stigma surrounding cannabis consumption through quality branded products and Black entrepreneurship. By partnering with accomplished medical doctors and scientists who understand the medical value of endocannabinoid therapy, James Henry SF promotes responsible consumption for a responsible lifestyle. A selection of James Henry SF flower, including hybrids Donnie B and True Ryder and social flower Lemon Jack and Tropical Slice, are now available on Eaze.
- KGB Reserve: KGB stands for killer green bud, the main ingredient used in all of their products. As a self funded equity company based out of Oakland, KGB Reserve is grateful for its place in the legal cannabis space. They stand for unity and believe in equality. Currently known for their top shelf infused products, KGB Reserve has consistently been on Eaze’s list of top 10 pre-roll brands in the Bay Area since its launch. KGB Reserve’s Sauce Pen, Bambino and Torpedo products are now available on Eaze.
- Oakland Extracts: Oakland Extracts, a Black-owned business, began as a way to bring the community together. Founders Terryn Niles Buxton and Aaron Tran saw prices climbing with legalization and realized there was a need for people in Oakland to have access to quality cannabis at an affordable price. Over the years, they fine-tuned a proprietary technique that allows for maximum terpene retention. Oakland Extracts’ Red Congolese Cookie Crumble Wax is now on Eaze.
- SF Roots: Founder and CEO Morris Kelly started in the cannabis industry 13 years ago making edibles under Proposition 215 for local collectives, then launched Greencuredelivery cannabis delivery service in 2015. “Equity is about leveling the playing field for companies who paved the way for this economic green rush,” said Kelly. “We’re this industry’s originators, it’s about getting consumers to support equity brands every day. We are partnering with Eaze to ensure that happens.”
Eaze has long worked to help build a more equitable cannabis industry. With access to capital serving as one of many barriers for new entrepreneurs in the space, Eaze launched Momentum—a business accelerator to cultivate the growth and success of underrepresented cannabis business founders—in September 2019. Eaze’s social impact work also includes a partnership with Code for America to help clear 250,000 low level criminal offenses; a permanent 25% discount for U.S. veterans; partnerships with Success Centers SF and the San Francisco AIDS project; and a $25,000 contribution to the NAACP, among others.
To learn more about Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Program, read our latest blog from Darius Kemp.
Eaze, California’s largest marketplace for legal cannabis, connects adult consumers with licensed retailers and products. Eaze is on a mission to enhance safe access to legal cannabis, educate people about cannabis as a tool for wellness and drive smart cannabis policies. www.eaze.com.
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News