Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses, the Office of Marijuana Policy, and a handful of other businesses and local non-profits focusing on social equity recently launched a new industry recognition program called Cannabis Cares.
According to Denver.gov, the Cannabis Cares program is a City and County of Denver initiative that recognizes “cannabis businesses that go above and beyond to make a positive impact.” The group says businesses can earn “badges” that represent their commitment in five areas: diversity and inclusion; social equity; sustainability; community engagement; and contracting with minority-owned businesses.
During an in-person networking event at City Park Pavilion, Cannabis Cares pledged to recognize business owners in the cannabis industry that are “giving back to their neighborhoods and communities.” And the program is part of Denver’s overall social-impact plan, which is required for all marijuana licenses in Denver
Molly Duplechian, Executive Director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, told TV station Denver7: “We have been regulating cannabis here in Denver for almost 10 years now, and this new program … is unlike anything we’ve done previously. We try to lead the way with new and innovative policies.”
Businesses focusing on social equity will also be able to participate in a new program from Colorado’s Cannabis Business Office and Oregon-based non-profit partner NuProject, which will provide a revolving fund to offer loans between $50,000 and $150,000 to cannabis businesses. – AB