The growth of legal cannabis has come with complications related to prior prohibition of cannabis that disproportionately and adversely impacted people in communities of color. In an attempt to counter this history of disparity, many states, cities and businesses have implemented social equity programs connected to the legalization of medical or recreational cannabis. This panel will discuss some of the social issues that have risen to the surface during the transition into a legal market and highlight various solutions that emerged.
Social Benefit Programs in Cannabis
Industry-leading brand architect and business strategy expert in the global wellness & cannabis brand space, guiding companies with savvy sales management, social media campaigns & marketing strategy including social Impact programs, comms-focused outreach & professional service.
Through high-level education, training & promo activations, Luna has spent the last 15 years as a founding member of well-known legacy cannabis companies who produce world-class, ethically sourced, high-quality & safe consumer goods with polish.
Extensive government-relations & high-level regulatory experience, Luna's known as an outspoken advocate for equity & alternative plant medicine access. Creator of nuanced B2B business solutions, Luna is focused on relationship-building through high-end consumption & staff appreciation events, engaging in-store demos, industry conferences & finely-tuned account management.
With a Master's in Education, CA Teaching Credential, BA in Communication & Gender Studies, Luna was State-/Nationwide Sales Director at Jetty Extracts, Jetty CBD, Real Wellness by Ricky Williams, Dennis Hopper's "Hopper Reserve," Can-Of-Bliss, and Lucid Mood Botanicals, Pura Vida Health, GetHeaven.com, Advesa Wellness & Blue River Terpenes, Jane's Brew (House of Jane), Steep Hill Labs, Therapy Tonics & Greenlane distribution.
Luna has been blessed to be a key Marketing Advisor or officer, supporting brand ambassador programs, training curriculum & creative content for Dixie Elixirs, Quim, Atlas Edibles, Stokes, Champs Trade Shows, VapeXhale, Doc Greens, Brotherly Love, Operation E.V.A.C., Click Spray, DOPE mag, MG mag, A Future For Vets Foundation, and marketing agencies Fiorello.co & Cannabrand.
Ryan Miller served the Marine Corps from 1998-2002 as a network systems engineer primarily in Okinawa, Japan. Constantly deployed, Ryan served in Brunei, Bali, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, and Korea twice. Two meritorious promotions, Battalion Marine of the Quarter, the Navy Achievement Medal, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Cisco Certified Network Associate, and Naval Shellback are among his accomplishments earned on active-duty.
Following an honorable discharge, Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management and Information Technology from Golden Gate University while serving FedEx Office as Senior Technology Specialist and Center Manager before joining the cannabis community with Berkeley Patients Group (BPG). At BPG Ryan led sales for six months consecutively, served as lead editor for the Sales Department’s technical and training manuals, and as liason for their delivery service start-up. Ryan joined Harborside Health Center after BPG was forced to cease operations. At Harborside, while leading the clones department, Ryan was featured on CNN for Inside Man with Morgan Spurlock. Additionally, Ryan created a relationship with District Footwear to pitch and manage a collaborative graphic design and garment project for release on 4/20. Ryan’s proudest accomplishment at Harborside was the design and implementation of their military veteran support group, Harborside Heroes, where he launched and facilitated 30 peer-led social support groups over two and a half years.
Upon leaving Harborside, Ryan formed Operation EVAC (Educating Veterans About Cannabis) with Terryn Buxton and Aaron Tran of Oakland Extracts. Our mission is to promote the growth and healing of veterans through mutual assistance, personal development, and community service. Our current clients include Releaf and the Apothecarium in San Francisco, 7 Stars in Richmond, Berkeley Patients Group, Magnolia Oakland, and River City Phoenix in Sacramento. In December, 2016, Ryan deployed with veterans across the country to support the Indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota.
Alexander serves as advocate, teammate, consultant, advisor, founder, facilitator, educator, and lifelong learner. Honoring those who have gone before him, Alexander served with merit in the United States Military from 2010-2014 and holds tightly to a sense of purpose and commitment to duty, continually advocating in the fields of affordable housing, education, environmental protections, and veterans rights.
While attending to his undergraduate at San Jose State University, Alexander deployed with veterans nationwide to support indigenous rights and continued access to land and water during the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, and later reconstituted the only student-led veterans service organization on campus, serving as its president and Vice President.
Alexander now specializes in housing and community development. Performing duties as a project manager, developer, and advisor to rural and Native American communities. He also holds space as a certified peer support specialist, Entheogenic devotee and facilitator for Operation EVAC (Educating Veterans About Cannabis).
As his journey continues, he has faith that his own cosmic thread, A Future for Veterans Foundation, which provides appropriate housing solutions to military veterans in their own pursuit of an education, will continue; as it's his primary intention to bring value to its members and the community at large. Alexander graduated in 2019 holding a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a concentration in community change, and is currently a grant recipient of the NFL salute to service yoga certification through the Veterans Yoga Project.
Ramon M Garcia is a lifelong and Second Generation activist with LA Raza, and AIM West, and advocate for communities terrorized by colonialism and disproportionate and predatory policies. Ramon Garcia is A co-founder and President of the OEG (Original Equity Group, SPC) and co-creator of “Equity Trade Certification” and “Equity Sessions,” an educational resource dedicated to providing holistic education and networking for Equity Applicants and communities disproportionately damaged by the failed policies of the War on Drugs.
As a cannabis entrepreneur Garcia is also a
Co-Founder of Sanctuary Farms LLC, and Padre Mu Delivery and Distribution LLC.
Ramon is also a former CGA (California Grower’s Association)Equity Chair and now plays an active role as a member of the Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the Cannabis Distributors Association, The National Cannabis Industry Association, and The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance.
Along with several Grassroots activists and advocates helped to create language for Oakland’s Historic Equity Program, taking that experience to assist with S.F.,Sacramento, San Jose, and State Equity programs, policies and regulatory language