What Our Brands Are Doing for Social Equity
At Sava we are committed to helping end inequity in the cannabis industry, as well as combatting systemic racism, homophobia, and sexism. A year ago, we published a list of commitments we are making as a company towards these goals (recently updated for 2021), as well as a compilation of what our brands are doing for Black lives.
This list expands on the previous one, widening our perspective to include broader social equity commitments and actions our brands have developed over the past year. We've included brand-submissions on the topic, so if you'd like more details on their actions or ownership structures please contact them directly.
If you'd like more insight on where to spend your dollars, you can sort by BIPOC, LGBTQ-, and women-owned brands under "values" on our website.
What actions are our brands taking?
* denotes equity brand
We believe deeply in the power of community and that together, our impact spans the world. We advocate for the legalization and decriminalization of the plant and support social justice organizations like the Last Prisoner Project and the Floret Coalition.
We are humbled to run Artet, and yet, we recognize the privileged position we occupy in doing so. As a small family business, we are committed to building a company representative of the cannabis industry we want to see. Beyond our three family founders, our entire team (creative director and design team) is 100% Latinx and as we continue to grow, we commit to hiring practices that will provide opportunity to the BIPOC communities who have been harmed by the war on drugs. From our inception, we have used our platform to develop partnerships with organizations committed to helping BIPOC communities at different levels. The first organization is The Last Mile, which prepares incarcerated individuals for reentry through job-training. The second organization we support with quarterly donations is Boston University's Center for Anti-Racist Research founded by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, whose goal is to use data-driven research to foster policy innovation that ensures equity and justice for all.
We donate 2.5 % of quarterly revenue to organizations like The Last Mile, which help formerly incarcerated individuals get job training to set them up for a successful and stable re-entry to society, and The Anti Racism Policy Center.
Aster Farms supports Success Centers Org and Equity First Alliance with monthly recurring donations. We also volunteer our time, teaching workshops at Success Centers Org and will be mentors at Our Academy workshop series for equity applicants. We work closely with equity retailers in the Bay Area, including Eco Cannabis and Vapor Room and supply Kushagram's compassionate use program with deeply discounted products. In 2019, we hosted Humble Bloom's "Healing Earth & Community," a weekend of education and inclusive conversation with a focus on BIPOC voices in the industry - we hope to do this again as soon as group gatherings are safe again. In June of 2020, we partnered with Sweet Flower delivery and CoolHaus ice cream on a campaign that donated 100% of sales as well as a matched donations by all three parties involved to support LGBTQ+ BIPOC rights (we're not allowed to say the organization as they could lose federal funding for accepting cannabis money).
Bhang has committed to the following actions:
Maintaining a diverse board and leadership team: Having diverse leadership makes Bhang better.
Amplifying and sharing messages about ending racism and creating equity: We believe it is incumbent upon white America to acknowledge its privilege and use its power and influence to strive for an equitable society.
Requiring training for our staff on the issues of race, diversity, and bias: Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of Bhang. We believe it is critical to weave knowledge, inclusivity, and the appreciation of difference into the very fabric of our company’s culture.
Partnering with and utilizing BIPOC founded brands and partners: Bhang is a women-led company. A part of our corporate ethos is to share our access with women and people of color getting their start in the cannabis industry. We encourage our employees to share their knowledge and access by collaborating with, mentoring, and learning from women-owned and BIPOC-owned businesses in the industry.
As a black woman owned social equity brand, Biko's existence and success is embodied by working toward ending systemic racism and inequalities in the cannabis space. Our values are expressed through our hiring practices as well as in our marketing efforts. The Biko Creators Circle program offers monthly microgrants and support to independent BIPOC and Queer artists. Biko's founder and CEO, Timeka Drew, is also the co-founder of Our Academy, a mentorship program that empowers minorities in the cannabis industry.
Calexo is a company founded by black, queer, female, asian and immigrant folks. We commit to our hiring practices a continued emphasis on women and people of color above other candidates. We prioritize working with BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities in our supply chain. We have and continue to make financial contributions to organizations like G.L.I.T.S, Black Earth Farms, Critical Resistance and the ACLU to address the legal and cultural hurdles in front of us and make meaningful change to make all of us feel safe, nourished and welcome in the communities we live. Creative expression is at the heart of what Calexo stands for. We continue to provide a platform for artists to share their stories through our audio/video experiences, Some Kind Of, hosted most recently in partnership with See Black Women arts collective.
We are rooted in California cannabis and make a point to hire from very diverse backgrounds. We stand with and support all movements that push for equality.
We have committed to monthly financial contributions to organizations that promote equity in cannabis, offering special discounts to Black-owned dispensaries, amplifying POC voices weekly on our social media platforms, and reviewing 50%+ POC resumes for all open positions.
Cann is part of Cannabis for Black Lives, and supports the various organizations that CfBL chooses to support every other month. One example of this is, we are donating $1 for every Cann product sold on Sava to Copper House Detroit in May/June 2021, which is an organization focused on providing a safe space for Queer and Black cannabis communities in Detroit.
We have a meaningful Equity partnership based in Oakland. We are working together to build up a local, black-owned business with purpose to support our collective community and bring the change that is so urgently needed. Get excited, there is a really special collaboration and products coming soon. We have partnered with Sweetleaf Collective because first and foremost, cannabis is medicine and we are committed to making sure people in need have access. We are en route to be plastic free by the end of 2020. We recently became a member of OSC2 - which is working toward a regenerative global economy and are committed to working with Sun & Earth certified farms. We believe environmental justice is social justice.
We started Cannabis for a Cause with our Project Fusion line where we give 1% back to Sun+Earth certification and 1% back to Supernova Women. We are currently expanding our Cannabis for a Cause campaign to our entire product line, with updated packaging coming soon.
We're a small brand so we are working on small ways to better serve our patients communities:
A commitment to provide better inclusive health resources - So far this has included a focus on the incidence of fibroids in black cis female populations (and how to protect against them) and this week we'll be covering cannabis, COVID and health risk factors (and again, health / lifestyle) factors that are specific to communities of color.
Using our social platform to promote awareness about the BLM movement and social injustice (we were one of the first cannabis brands to do this).
Specials with retailers to donate a portion of profits for specific weeks. The week of the 15th, we donated 10% of our sales with Cornerstone Collective in LA to National Expungement week and we donated money to Minneapolis Freedom Fund the week of June 8, 2020.
Working in our spare time on causes that matter to us. Nicole has been donating legal research to the Police Accountability Project.
We've partnered with BIPOC-owned brands since before the Equity program existed and we're very proud to support Equity in cannabis today by continuing to partner with Equity brands. We put our dollars directly into the Equity pipeline when we source flower from our partners Cloud 9 Cannabis in Oakland. We further support our Equity partners by promoting their brand and cultivation in all our messaging, as well as offering them free space to promote their brand at Doc Green's events. We have a diverse team here at Doc Green's and work to keep it diverse by continuing to make sure we offer employment opportunities and advancement in the company to BIPOC. We represent diversity and inclusion in our marketing materials and content; and we educate on the disproportionate harms the War on Drugs caused for communities of color and why it is our responsibility to do our part to make our industry more equitable and accessible.
Let’s start here: We are a white-led company in an industry built on the criminalization of Black and brown people. Without socially equitable initiatives and a commitment to change, every dollar made from legal cannabis is complicit in contributing to racism in the industry. We believe a more just and equitable future is possible both for our company and our industry. So we joined forces with our peers to form Cannabis for Black Lives, a coalition of companies committed to ongoing support of Black Lives Matter and continued work to build accountable, equitable businesses and a more just industry. Immediate financial support of the movement is a necessary first step. But it is just the beginning of our work as we strive to build a company and an industry that is committed to justice.
We will continue our School of Unlearning campaign around BLM and LGBTQ causes. In June 2021, Foria will be donating a portion of our proceeds to the Audre Lorde Foundation and other LGBTQ causes in CA and nationally.
We are working with One Colorado specifically to bolster and evolve our company culture with community initiatives that address the inequity in Women's Health and combat legal injustices in the cannabis industry.
Gift of Doja*
Gift of Doja's creator Nina Parks helped to create Cannabis Equity Programs and is continuing to serve as a volunteer regulator as the Chair for the San Francisco Cannabis Oversight Committee. Nina is also a part of the Cannabis Trade Certification and Cannabis Equity Trade Alliance program that is building an Ecosystem of Equity Business and Allies to continue to help our community of new business owner thrive. Nina is also part of Cannabis Regulators of Color an Alliance of BIPOC regulators that are pushing for Equity based national legalization.
Green Bee Botanicals
At Green Bee Botanicals, we've committed to:
Hiring a minimum of 40% BIPOC staff (currently our number is 50%) and BIPOC consultants (currently 100%).
Using our social media, blog, website, newsletter, personal conversations, and white privilege to support and promote Black-owned and equity-owned cannabis businesses, and diversity and inclusion.
Participating in Black Lives Matter protests, as individuals and as a company.
Donating to organizations that help free those jailed for cannabis offenses, get their records expunged, and assist them with reentry into society.
Developing a Commitment to Anti-Racism Contract with our staff.
Taking Rachel Cargle's The Great Unlearn anti-racism course, and learning from diversity coaches to mitigate our unconscious biases in hiring, promoting and decision-making.
Creating a safe space for our staff to discuss, call out, and demand consequences for racist behavior.
Basing our participation with vendors and events on how inclusive and diverse they are.
Humboldt Apothecary is designing a program to implement donations of 20% of our proceeds on certain days in specific dispensaries to programs that specifically support POC that have been incarcerated for cannabis crimes and programs that advocate for dismantling structural inequality and work for racial justice across gender, race, and class.
We purchase oil from Wildseed oil, who donates a percentage of proceeds to an organization that works to advocate for people of color that have been incarcerated for cannabis crimes.
We at James Henry SF are making sure that we take part of every city council meeting to help in shaping the laws around cannabis so that it's inclusive. We also give free classes to teach other equity applicant/qualified applicants on how to structure their company in the cannabis space. We are also mentors to equity applicants. We also give a small portion of our revenue to an equity applicant who was effected by the riots and looting in Oakland. We strongly believe in community and uplifting marginalized communities.
Black Lives Matter. We condemn racism and social injustice and stand with those fighting for change. At Kikoko, we're committed to doing our part towards creating a better future and taking tangible steps to challenge racism and support our colleagues, retail partners and communities. So, we will be making a donation to Campaign Zero, an organization that works to end police brutality in America. Kikoko also donates to the noble Last Prisoner Project. While those of us enjoy the safety of a now-legal cannabis market, over 40,000 people—the outrageous majority of them Black—remain in prison on nonviolent cannabis charges. Last Prisoner Project will not rest until every one of them is freed. Kikoko is devoted to being a part of the solution and we hope you join us.
It is part of our brand mission to encourage and support conversations and work around decolonizing wellness, cannabis, and natural medicine. We support NBPOC and women-owned brands and promote them every Wednesday at our dispensary. As a small, family-owned company still in its early stages of growth, we are committed to financially supporting social justice as much as we can. A percentage of our dispensary ATM withdrawals currently goes to The National Bail Out collective. We will continue donating products and proceeds to equity events that are dedicated to social justice. We have a diverse team of employees, content creators, and collaborators, and we will continue to support and circulate their work. Our brand has aligned with many Black, NBPOC, and LGBTQIA brands for education, content and events, and provide donations for many events as well as offering tickets to equity applicants to numerous educational events. We are committed to continuing our efforts.
In addition, we help support the work of Broccoli Floret and our brand has aligned with many Black and NBPOC brands for education, content and events, and provided donations for many events as well as offering tickets to equity applicants to numerous educational events and we will continue to do so.
Kiva has made donations to The Last Prisoner Project and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to act in solidarity with the fight against systemic racism and the historic oppression of the black community, and the liberation of those wronged by the indefensible War on Drugs. We are continuing our support of The Last Prisoner Project's mission and recently raised over $2,100 online via Instagram Live. Kiva's employees have together raised an additional $10,355, which Kiva is matching dollar for dollar. These additional funds will be going to the following organizations, in amounts selected by the employees contributing: Color of Change, Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, Campaign Zero, The Bail Project, and the ACLU, as well as the Last Prisoner Project and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Our internal committee/group KNOW-ALL (KIVA Network of Women and Allies) is building out the ways we support equity partners and communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.
We're donating a portion of the proceeds from our 2021 Camino Pride gummy to benefit several designated LGBTQIA+ organizations throughout CA.
We are a Black man and white woman owned cannabis brand! Together we encompass social equity and social justice.
We have been supporting monetarily ACLU for years. We regularly donate to Last Prisoner Project and to SF Equity Group working project led be Nina Parks. Most importantly, LEVEL is a safe and equitable workplace for all BIPOC with starting salaries of $19 / hour - free health insurance for all full time employees and zero tolerance for discrimination or racism.
As an Oakland Cannabis Equity brand, MAAT Apothecary has been dedicated to neutralizing the effects of systemic racism and harm from the War on Drugs. A portion of all MAAT Apothecary sales support restorative justice, poverty alleviation, and experiential wellness in historically traumatized communities.
At Mad Lilly/K-Zen we believe women and people of color should have opportunities to succeed in the cannabis industry. We support organizations dedicated to diversifying and improving the industry like Supernova Women – a non-profit that provides women of color the tools they need to be self-sufficient shareholders in the industry. Mad Lilly/K-Zen also engages in providing products to those in need through monthly donations with various partners.
When all is said and done, this is about your health and well-being. It’s about your power to vote with your dollars, to support and nurture an equitable industry, and to eradicate the stigma around this plant. It’s about making cannabis accessible to everybody.
Organizations we’ve partnered with:
Women's Prison Association
National Bail Out
Last Prisoner Project
The Hood Incubator
Moon Made Farms
As a BIPOC female cultivator in a rural homogenous male dominated culture, I have strived to create a platform for social change by offering work opportunities to a diverse and alternative group of marginalized and underrepresented people over the years. Moon Made Farms partners and employees have gone on to become land owners, business owners, creative entrepreneurs, and radical activists. Our goal is to directly impact the economic and cultural disparity in the greater cannabis culture and beyond.
MONDO has always been an ally to the BLM movement. Over the years, we have mostly filled our positions with women of color. When we diversify our team we can get a greater perspective on how best to create a healing platform. Our company's "strategy" is to create the best anti-anxiety product for people, and the best way to do it is to have diverse people sitting at the table. Our CEO, Emily O'Brien, also called for a halt to business operations to have the entire MONDO team show up for the BLM protests over the summer to give out CBD to the participants and leaders. She felt it was important to help give relief out to help people stay focused and motivated for the long road ahead. There is always more work to be done and MONDO will be there on the front lines.
Nouera has partnered with Social Equity owned companies and organizations since 2017. As part of the first cohort of the Social Equity accelerator, Momentum from Eaze, Nouera has partnered with many other social equity brands and activists to build an ecosystem of supportive businesses and partners to share best practices, resources, and knowledge. Nouera has participated in and supported the activist groups shaping and shifting the narrative to support black and brown communities imprisoned and oppressed by the “War on Drugs.” Nouera is an active voice in speaking out against the violence of the continuing role of the US born “War on Drugs” in Asia and in Asian American communities.
As small business owners in the cannabis industry we are well aware of the privilege of both time and circumstance (i.e. being white) that allows us to operate "out of the shadows". Yet, currently across the nation there are countless people serving multi-year or life prison terms for cannabis related offenses and many others are left out of the burgeoning industry because of the status quo.
As the cannabis industry grows it has a unique opportunity to reflect and promote progressive social, environmental, and economic ideals while actively working against tacit racism that is often overlooked in other economic sectors.
We believe that systemic, long-standing institutionalized racism is not intractable.
OARA is committed to:
Hiring Black, Indigenous, people of color employees (currently building staff) and working with companies (i.e. suppliers, vendors, consultants) that are Black, Indigenous, people of color or companies actively supporting equity initiatives.
Donating on a recurring schedule to Critical Resistance and Restore Justice organizations working to dismantle the prison industrial complex by assisting people that are currently or formally incarcerated with a focus on the State of California.
Implementing company programs to mitigate unconscious biases in hiring, promoting, and decision-making.
Oja De La Sol
Ojo De La Sol exists within an ecosystem of the cannabis industry that promotes solidarity and reciprocity to dismantle the systems that uphold extractive economies, extractive farming practices, and extractive relationships often at the exclusion of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. For over ten years Ojo De La Sol has remained loyal to its principles, vision, and values centered in Indigenous knowledge, equity and collective liberation. The Sol System is comprised of 8 elements: Land + Water Play + Movement Stories + Interconnection Rituals + Practices Family + Community Reciprocity + Solidarity Love + Justice These guiding elements help direct all decisions within the company - from business partnerships, to collaborations, farming practices, hiring and messaging. Ojo De La Sol centers partnerships with small, BIPOC family-run businesses from farm to packaging.
We commit to donating proceeds of Lavender CBD Salts to BLM, donating proceeds of OM undies to period., donating cases of salts to Black healing event, using IG for political calls & education on BLM, newsletters with calls to action for donations & petitions to 8K recipients, and amplifying Black-owned businesses.
Papa & Barkley
Papa & Barkley is actively updating our people practices. This includes:
Increasing our presence within diverse communities of professionals to ensure our job opportunities are reaching underrepresented groups
Including implicit bias resources and assessments in our interview training for hiring managers to raise awareness of the role bias can play in the hiring process
Bringing outside speakers to lead educational presentations for our employees to provide our workforce with the opportunity to learn more about issues related to inequality and systemic racism
Creating an informational BLM tab on our company intranet to help employees educate themselves on racial inequality.
Deepening our analysis of our own supply chain to ensure our spending aligns with our values. To progress change outside of our company we have donated to three meaningful organizations that resonate with our team: 1) The Loveland Foundation 2) Black Lives Matter 3) ActBlue Split Your Donation.
We are committed to the following actions: providing internal resources and education to PLUS employees and their families, starting with a four-part lecture series about race in America; creating space for and encouraging honest and open dialogue in both formal and informal forums, such as virtual company lunches; and using our platform to amplify and celebrate under-represented voices, such as featuring BIPOC members of the LGBTQ+ c ommunity during Pride month. Recently, we donated $1 per tin sold of our limited edition Pride gummy to the SF Queer Nightlife Fund, an organization that provides direct financial relief to workers in queer nightlife in the Bay Area who face financial insecurity as a result of COVID-19. Funds raised by SF QNF are allocated exclusively for lifeline expenses; for example multiple grants have enabled individuals to pay rent and stay in their homes during a time of incredible uncertainty.
We are currently developing our programs, one being a virtual movie night where we highlight a local organization working towards ending racism in our community and amplify their voice and message via the event. We will also continue to use our social media platform to help amplify positive messaging for Black Lives, ending racism, and criminal justice reform.
At Potli, we are rooted in our culture and mission to bring #FeelGoodFoods for everyone to enjoy.
Potli is proudly an Asian-owned, female-led boutique crafting highly-functioning superfoods infused with sungrown cannabis & hemp. As pioneering purveyors of cannabis infused foods, Potli believes activism and social equity are essential ingredients to reimagine & heal collectively as a society.
Our commitment to diversity, championing inclusivity, and breaking bread with the community is at the heart of everything we do. Potli's impact can be seen in our latest partnership with Black-owned, social-equity brand SF Roots for the 'Protect Our Elders' infused pre-roll and Courage Over Comfort campaign for AAPI Heritage Month.
Learn more on our website:
Pure Beauty has, for some time, worked directly with organizations that work with currently and post incarcerated populations. We not only make monetary contributions, but work directly with the program and the individuals it is serving. In addition to our ongoing contributions we recently donated $10k to Black Arts organizations that are in our immediate community, including The World Stage, The Umoja Center, and Summaeverythang. We will continue work with organizations like these that align with our interests and values. We are also developing an apprenticeship program that will bring social equity applicants into our cultivation and will include exposure to other sectors--e.g. distribution, retail and manufacturing. The goal being to increase diversity in cultivation specifically and the industry more broadly. We know there is so much more to do and will continue to make social justice a core part of our mission.
At Quim, we've been using our social media channels and mailers to uplift Black voices, and promote Black Lives Matter movement content. We've made donations to The Last Prisoner Project, Black Lives Matter, B.A.J.I., Black Trans Travel Fund, and the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund. As a small company, we're exploring a few options that would allow us to amplify our donations on an ongoing basis. Our founders have taken part in an anti-racism workshop in order to gain the tools needed to ensure Quim is an actively anti-racist environment, and will continue doing related work.
Rose Los Angeles
We’ve been turning our attention to help support local Black-owned companies in the industry, one of which was significantly impacted by the looting following the George Floyd murder.
We commit to mentoring legacy brands and helping to create pathways for their future success.
We have committed to continue hiring a diverse group to support Sonder. 28% of our 7 person team are POC, 71% of our team are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and 71% of our team identify as women.
We have 1 gay Black man on our C Suite.
We have been committed since day one to partnering with Black-owned businesses. Our distributor is Black woman-owned, our manufacturing partner is Black-owned, our engineering partner is Black-owned.
We are committed to helping Black women-owned businesses in cannabis and cannabis adjacent companies by mentoring them, sharing our services and expertise, and sharing our community of investors and partners.
Sonoma Hills Farm
Our partner company, Big Rock, donates to and hosts events for the Last Prisoner Project; Emphasis on hiring minority employees; pro bono advising for minority founders.
Besides hiring more BIPOC associates we’ve started a grant program to support BIPOC creatives and projects to help bring their dreams to life. We’ve already funded murals in NY, a queer Muslim short film, and a recently arrived Afghani family.
Sundae School was conceived with the mission of elevating the minor voices. Founded by Korean American immigrants, we marry our heritage with the Brave New Cannabis Culture. We partner with forward-thinking artists, organizations, non-profits and many others who are aligned with our mission to expand our platform.
We are donating a percentage of our proceeds to the Equal Justice Initiative and the Last Prisoner Project. Both organizations are working on ending mass incarceration and changing legislation to repair past and present injustices of the war on drugs.
Donating: Giving a percentage of revenue to advocacy organizations working to end systemic racism and unjust cannabis-related sentences, especially in Black & Brown communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs. We will also donate to LGBTQ youth advocacy organizations.
Equity: Engaging in conversations with local BIPOC-owned cannabis companies to better understand how we can help financially. If you are a BIPOC cultivator, manufacturer, retailer or women-owned brand, we have some ideas and want to talk.
Hiring: Continuing to hire a diverse workforce and engaging in anti-racist education and training.
Visibility & Access: Elevating BIPOC voices and visibility on our channels and sharing time, knowledge, and skills with other cannabis entrepreneurs.
Compassion: Working with retail partners and cannabis organizations to revitalize the Compassion allowed during Prop. 215 era to donate free products to financially-challenged patients again.
The Farmaceuticals Co.
The Farmaceuticals Co. stands firmly with the Black Lives Matter movement. We acknowledge the systemically racist systems that uphold and exonerate the injustices done to Black people, and as a queer white woman owned company, we recognize our part in these systems. As a company, we staunchly believe that when diverse voices are at the table, we are better and stronger for it. We will continue to make hiring choices that specifically bring in black and brown voices and talents. We will also continue to make recurring donations to BLM and to amplify BIPOC-owned businesses. The racist systems in this industry work to help white people make a profit, while there are countless black people still incarcerated on cannabis charges. Additionally, the resources to build a cannabis business are extremely limited to BIPOC. These injustices are in no way specific to the cannabis industry, and we pledge to do everything we can to end these injustices in our industry and in the world at large.
We donate a portion of our profits every month to important causes. In August of 2021, alongside our new product launches, we will be donating to The Last Prisoner project, BLM, Anti Police Terror Project, and The Trevor Project. .
During 2021, we're doing a compassion program, whereby we donate product to HIV positive and other low income patients via the Brownie Mary Democratic Club.
Continued efforts and education are being promoted and pursued with a department and WYLD employees focusing on organizations dedicated to social justice/reform and ongoing learning.
Read our blog post to learn more about Sava's commitments to change: https://www.getsava.com/blogs/our-commitments