PORTLAND, Ore. – As part of its ongoing commitment to social equity in the cannabis industry, Wana Brands has joined Oregon’s NuLeaf Project to support the passage of the state legislature’s recently introduced Cannabis Equity Act (HB3112 2021). The partnership will also support the development of resources to help promote NuLeaf’s minority business accelerator program, which is working to build intergenerational success for Black and Brown people throughout the legal cannabis industry.
“At Wana, we are acutely aware of our obligation to help people of color find their rightful place in the cannabis space,” said Nancy Whiteman, CEO, Wana Brands. “Unique to any other business, the cannabis industry owes a debt of gratitude to minorities, many of whom have suffered disproportionately during prohibition. We are committed to meeting this obligation with concrete action, such as our relationship with the NuLeaf Project.”
The NuLeaf Project develops programs designed to increase success outcomes for people of color in the cannabis industry, either as business owners or professionals. The organization’s work is specifically designed to address the three most common equity hurdles for all marginalized groups when starting a business or a professional career: capital, education/exposure and connection.
“Our work would not be possible without the support of allies across the industry,” said Jeannette Ward Horton, executive director of the NuLeaf Project. “Wana Brands’ steadfast commitment to this cause is a leading example in this industry. They have shown repeatedly that they are not just talking the talk. They are doing the work. This becomes even more important when states consider legislation to help improve minority participation in the industry.”
Introduced today, the Oregon Cannabis Equity Act will help provide equal opportunity for black, indigenous and Latinx ownership in the growing cannabis industry, as well as invest in communities disproportionately impacted by over-policing and cannabis criminalization. Currently, Black ownership of cannabis businesses sits at only 2.7% nationally. In Oregon, fewer than 200 cannabis-related prison sentence expungements have occurred since legalization. The Cannabis Equity Act allocates millions of dollars per year to combat these ongoing injustices.
The No. 1 edibles producer in North America, Wana Brand products are currently available in more than 2,000 stores nationwide. This places Wana in a unique position to support policy initiatives that deeply affect all legal markets.
“It is imperative that more pioneers in our industry recognize the part they can play to right these wrongs,” Whiteman said. “We see our partnership with NuLeaf as not just the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, but also from a business standpoint. When we know and understand all of our customers and invite them into the business process, we make better products and have better success. This is not an option, it is a business necessity.”
About Wana Brands
Included in the 2020 Inc. 5000 list at #2,074 and boasting a three-year growth rate of 203%, Wana Brands is the No. 1 edibles brand in North America. Wana leads the industry in quality, consistency and potency, providing a range of different options that enable customers to create the specific cannabis experience they want. Wana products offer diverse product forms, four different CBD/THC ratios as well as a variety of different dosages, onset times and duration of effects. The portfolio is designed so products can be used singly or in combination to address specific health, wellness, and recreational needs. Wana products are available in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Arizona, Oregon and Oklahoma dispensaries, with Massachusetts among the states imminently coming online. Wana Brands is available internationally in Canada. For more information or to subscribe to Wana’s e-newsletter, visit www.wanabrands.com