The response to the MG Retailer article was published by Medium
Cannabis industry social equity advocates are calling an article by MG Retailer “irresponsible” for including Cresco, HempStaff, Revolution, and Vangst “as leaders of social equity work.” In a response to the MG Retailer article published in full by Medium, the signees call out the “oblivious commentary” as “the exact behavior that has created systemic and institutionalized racism that exists in America today.”
The article is authored by Beyond Equity Founder Chaney Turner, Illinois Equity Staffing Co-Founder Shawnee Williams, and THC Staffing Group Co-Founder Danielle Schumacher.
The authors point out that Cresco and Revolution are “party of the white-owned monopoly in Illinois” and call out Cresco for not filling jobs related to their SEED program – a social equity incubator program announced in May 2019 – that have been posted since last year. The advocates also said it “remains to be seen” whether or not participants from that program end up with a state license at all.
Schumacher, Turner, and Williams argue that HempStaff and Vangst both existed for about five years “before making any attempt to invest resources in candidates who qualify for social equity.”
“Their social equity programs are set up to serve owners who do not personally qualify for social equity and are not invested enough in impacted communities to build partnerships on their own,” the open letter states. “Until Vangst launched their social equity program, their slogan was ‘Be a Vangster’ and the people featured on their site were almost 100 percent white.”
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