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Arizona Black Cannabis Trade Association Empowers the Community

Ed Knight

By Ed Knight

June 27, 2022

Photo Credit: Cannaclusive

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.

will be Shansan “Chance” Chambers, “a three generational Arizona native, with a life-long passion for representing and serving the Arizona inner-city community” who “comes from a family and community of Arizona pioneers, and has established himself an Arizona original cannabis industry pioneer within his own rights.”

, “Chambers has established multiple businesses and a nonprofit organization. In 2015, Chambers founded 420 Ultimate Tours and in 2021 founded Mwisho Cannabis, a tobacco-free blunt brand, and the Arizona Black Cannabis Trade Association (ABCTA). 420 Ultimate Tours and Mwisho Cannabis Brand was the first cannabis tourism and hospitality operation in Arizona.”

“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,

includes a “social equity campaign” that is designed to “promote the ownership and operation of marijuana establishments and marijuana testing facilities by individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.”

In April, the Arizona Department of Health Services

26 social equity licenses. But despite those virtuous intentions, the social equity campaign has faced criticism. 

state law “required 51% of the application to be controlled by qualified social equity applicants and recipients could sell their license to another corporation or investor,” and that the recipients of those licenses now “have 18 months to open their adult-use dispensaries.”

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.”

Ed Knight

About The Author

Ed Knight

HIGH THERE MISSION

WE’RE A CREATIVE COMMUNITY — EXPLORING THE SCIENCE, CRAFT, AND CULTURE OF CANNABIS.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS ERADICATING THE STIGMA, MISINFORMATION, AND INEQUITIES SURROUNDING THIS PLANT, SO WE CAN UNLOCK ITS TRUE POTENTIAL FOR ALL.