A new nonprofit in Arizona launched earlier this month with the aim to make the state’s cannabis industry more equitable for members of the black community.
Known as the Arizona Black Cannabis Trade Association, or ABCTA, the group will seek to provide “cannabis education, empowerment, and equity in an effort to support a community previously targeted by the War on Drugs,” according to a press release.
“Chambers was inspired and motivated by his grandmother to enter the cannabis industry after she found relief with alternative medicine solutions during her cancer chemotherapy treatments,” the website states. “Her cannabis journey as well as her life-time commitment to the inner-city community also motivated Chambers to become a pioneer for minorities in the industry and a social equity advocate.”
Arizona voters passed a measure in 2020 that legalized adult-use cannabis sales, one of four states that ended pot prohibition on the ballot that year (Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey were the other three).
Last year, the recreational cannabis market and the medical marijuana market
Push for Social Equity in Arizona
The recreational market raked in almost $650 million, while the medical market generated about $758 million in sales.
Much like other states that have legalized marijuana,
In April, the Arizona Department of Health Services
The Arizona Black Cannabis Trade Association said that it intends to monitor “predatory practices reported and ongoing criticism of the social equity program rules,” and that Chambers “designed the ABCTA to help social equity applicants and winners receive the best cannabis consulting, guidance and resources.”
As part of that goal, the Arizona Black Cannabis Trade Association is offering “a comprehensive eight-module program teaching attendees the information necessary to take the next step in the cannabis industry” that begins “with an introduction to the history of the cannabis industry and concludes with how to invest in the industry.”
“It all starts with one person who wants to make a difference,” Chambers said in the press release. “I have made the conscious effort in any business venture I dive into, to always make sure I am positively impacting the community and do all I can to assist people in need.”
The Arizona Black Cannabis Trade Association was officially established last year as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to “eliminate racial disparities in the Arizona cannabis industry by providing education, empowerment, and equity for the black community.”