For Kika Keith, tackling the beast of reforming* that is( social equity in Los Angeles has been a long journey, one she never expected would last for as long as it has.
Keith is a single mother to three girls, serial entrepreneur, cannabis advocate, founder of Life Development Group, co-founder of the Social Equity Owners and Workers Association (SEOWA), and now a Social Equity cannabis retail license owner. As a Los that is south-Central Angeles, she grew up in children and community where there isn’t a lot of a stigma around cannabis.
“My parents had been constantly into alternate medication and I also grew up utilizing the value that that which we requirement for our health and wellness arises from the floor. I happened to be endowed with that understanding of some great benefits of cannabis and sort of parlayed that in to the industry in 2007,” Keith distributed to Weedmaps.
Keith stepped in to the industry with a line of infused chlorophyll water and partnered with Virgil give, another Ebony cannabis pioneer and owner that is dispensary Los Angeles. In 2018, California passed the California Cannabis Equity Act that would allow for the development and operation of cannabis equity programs aimed at including the minority communities who had been adversely affected by cannabis criminalization, according to the populous city of l . a . Department of Cannabis Regulation.
When Keith heard about the program bringing some type of reparations to her very own community — also a very important income opportunity she would apply, get the ball rolling with her business, and see a real dynamic change after the program was released— she thought. But that wasn’t the case.
Rising above failing* that is( equity programs
The problems following the legalization and legislation of cannabis in Ca proceeded to continue, presented in Weedmaps’ present docuseries, Uprooted, in which Keith shared her experience as an applicant fighting in l . a .’s Social Equity system.
Focusing on distributing* that is( social equity was the key to adequately structuring a fair, legal, local marketplace, and Los Angeles failed to do just that. At the time, only a number that is small of authorized candidates had been Ebony, whilst the most of them had been white. Rumors of business and federal government corruption had been uncovered while Keith, along with countless other low-income candidates straight suffering from arrests throughout the War on Drugs, had abandoned every little thing, possessing empty retail properties and awaiting years to become* that is( license holders.
“I think the program started off with good intentions, but from a very perspective that is capitalist. They passed these statutory laws without any processes or procedures, no access to capital, no education for a law that exists.” This is why Keith founded and co-founded the organizations Life Development Group and SEOWA that is( to begin with educating her community on regional cannabis foibles and using stress to your town to uphold what the law states which was in position.
“Fortunately, that became our power since the legislation did occur also it ended up being in some recoverable format. Therefore then it absolutely was simply a matter of us rallying and doing our grassroots mobilization to teach the city on what significant it really is become part of this brand name industry that is new”
By providing education on city cannabis laws to her community, and winning a lawsuit that is successful the town of la, Keith and her group won 100 extra licenses, including one for by herself. After increasing $1M on her home year that is last her retail storefront on Crenshaw is finally well on its way to opening day — an unbelievably proud moment for herself and her community.
“Our small victories in this have empowered a community and have been a great model nationally for how communities can stand up and realize she sets an example for Black and Brown folks, that making the firm stance in not compromising in the world of
business and law will continue to show others within the community they can, in fact, own a significant market share within an exponentially growing industry.cannabisKika that you don’t have to come in with your hand out begging for a position to be in this.”
As a Black woman making an impact in
social equity Keith’s favorite weed
Growing up in South-Central l . a . with family and friends whom accepted
, along with being raised by a Rastafarian dad, Kika Keith is surrounded by the plant since she ended up being young. It is safe to state she certainly understands something or two about quality California-grown weed developed by neighborhood and Black-owned brands.
right here would be the brands and services and products Kika Keith can’t live without.
One of her favorite Los legacy that is angeles-based is Blaqstar Farms. Their artisan weed that is indoor-grown considered to be pure and powerful. “i really like to aid brands that are black-owned. My favorite is the Lemon OG. It’s really smooth, it has a flavor that is bold and I also’m a flower woman by the end associated with the time!”cannabisCalifornia CannabiscannabisWhen Keith simply really wants to mellow away, her go-to could be the type of teas at Ca Cannabis. Virgil give, her buddy and partner that is former is the owner of this iconic Los Angeles dispensary. Their tea flavors include lemon, raspberry, and peach. “I definitely love sippin’ on that,” she said, smiling.
Peakz Co. is another luxury that is black-owned*) brand name Keith really loves. Her favorite of theirs may be the Woo, certainly one of their signature strains. This brand that is oakland-based owned by Jesse Grundy who was also pioneering
licensing equity activism in his local community in the Bay Area.
Keith has her own line of infused chlorophyll water that is a alternative that is perfect edibles for when you need to view your sugar consumption.
“(*)Gorilla Life is my brand name. I prefer edibles but a complete lot of those are sugar-based. GorillaRx is a healthier drink line that is sweetened with agave and that means you need not bother about the sugar inside it — I am able to get my power in as well as get a good little high off of it too.”(*)Featured picture by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps(*)