The Diaspora Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO) is reaffirming its commitment to promoting inclusion in the cannabis industry with the upcoming Black Cannabis Week (BCW) event to be held September 20 – 27, 2020. The virtual event seeks to highlight and empower Blacks in cannabis, and also address inequalities in the industry in relation to Black and Brown people on one platform.
The indefinite postponement of in-person events because of the Corona virus pandemic has inadvertently provided an opportunity to expand the communities who participate in the event. The planned activities during the week-long event seek to help remove the stigma and amplify the many voices and resources available to people of color to ensure a more inclusive cannabis industry.
There will be a push during the program to encourage voter registration, and active participation during the upcoming elections to help advocate for reforms, policies, and legislation that would benefit people of color in the cannabis industry.
“The past few months have witnessed a focus on social and racial injustices impacting black lives and has necessitated the immediate need to find solutions to the long-standing issue. Unlike other industries, cannabis has been built on policy to lock up and lockout Black people. We have to include the communities devastated by its effects. This industry can no longer up and lockout Black people,” explains Cherron Perry-Thomas, founder of DACO and coordinating partner of Black Cannabis Week.
“The industry can no longer turn its back and ignore the injustices stemmed from systematic racism. Those in this industry can do more and should listen and support people, policy and business that work to make this industry more inclusive,” adds Perry-Thomas.
Presentations during BCW will include perspectives of hemp farmers, medical professionals, journalists, patients, elected officials, a live hempcrete workshop, job fair, and community development training as well as watch parties including the preview of The Higher Power: The Home Grow, Home Rule Lounge which discusses how cannabis cultivation can repair the physical, mental, and economic health of communities by executive producers, Rafi Aliya Crockett and Dewey Ortiz.
BCW will also feature, two major full-day conferences: the DACO Cannabis Opportunities Conference, the nation’s first Black and Brown cannabis conference held annually at Temple University’s Medical Education and Research Building and the CannAtlantic Conference focused on policy and equity bringing participants from states like Maine to Virginia. Initiatives to combat obstacles to generate positive changes in relation to people of color will also be explored.
“I’m excited to support this week-long celebration. COVID19 and the uprisings have only accelerated the urgency to get more Black communities and communities of color in the same virtual room to discuss legalization and how we can ensure any and all conversations on cannabis include not just equity and decriminalization within the cannabis industry, but also ways cannabis supporters can aid the global movement to address the egregious inequities Black people and other marginalized communities continue to face; inequities that have been highly exacerbated by this global pandemic and a failure in leadership,” says Thauid Chappell, founder of Cann Atlantic Conference on his support for the Black Cannabis Week.
The Diaspora Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities has a storied history of implementing ideas to reduce barriers and increase access of people of color to the predominately white cannabis industry. The organization hosted the first free annual cannabis conference with a focus on black and brown communities and has hosted several educational events and pop-ups like #PhillyHemping (honoring National Hemp Week), career fairs, and cannabis entrepreneur/investment forums.
Black Cannabis Week is in collaboration with the office of Senator Sharif Street (PA), Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO), Vets in the Hood, Supernova Women, Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM), and All Together Now PA.
Log onto www.blackcannabisweek.com for registration details.
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.
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