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The People's Dispensary

For CA Cannabiznesses of Color, Legalization Doesn't Automatically Bring Equity

Oakland CA – Limited social indicator research has found 1 percent Black and Brown ownership across the entire marijuana industry, citing unique challenges in cannabis investment and other structural barriers. But that's not stopping The People's Dispensary, a bay area social enterprise, from using their business model to promote equity in the industry.


Do we want a cannabis industry and culture that looks like Silicon Valley, or do we want to ensure marginalized communities get the benefit they deserve?” said Christine De La Rosa, a popular cultural entrepreneur and co-founder of The People’s Dispensary. “This is a once-in-a-generation moment for real equity in the East Bay that’s in step with our spirit, values, and history of innovation and activism.”


De La Rosa credits cannabis for helping transform her health after a debilitating onset of Lupus and uses her work around cannabis to improve the lives of communities in the Bay area. Last year, the legal cannabis market in the U.S. generated $6.7 billion in profits with projected growth expected to $44 billion in three years.


The Bay area is on track to become the epicenter of U.S. cannatourism as recreational legalization becomes a reality. To safeguard inclusion for more Californians, The People's Dispensary uses a cooperative business model designed to promote equity in this growing economy. This includes low cost entry investment for small and non-accredited investors; providing no cost health services for low-income customers; an affordable housing benefit for employees; and a groundbreaking impact fund that allows members and investors to reinvest future profits into local community benefit initiatives.


“Marijuana criminalization laws have already devastated families of color everywhere – the cannabis industry has the power and responsibility to repair that harm and transform our communities through sustainable investment. It’s our time,” said De La Rosa.


De La Rosa's Co-Founders include Charleen Caabay, the first Filipino American female winner of "Chopped," and Chaney Turner, a local cannabis ambassador and LGBT and people of color event promotor.


All of the co-founders are available for comment at (510) 423-0480, or consultkarlos@mediajustice.org.


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The People’s Dispensary is committed to building community, entrepreneurship and healing in the Bay Area’s most marginalized communities as a means of uplifting those most impacted by systemic oppression. Our goal is to provide access, information and support the entire community, with an emphasis on wellbeing for people of color, LGBTQ community, and women.