The concept of social equity as a subset of human rights is often ignored by the system that we currently function in. Especially under the watchful eyes of a government-mandated drug war, social equity is placed by the backburner and this often blows back on less privileged communities. Tony Frischknecht is joined by Chris Nani, an attorney, journalist, social equity advocate, and the Founder of Endo Insider. Chris talks about social equity in relation to the ongoing drug war and how social equity, down the line, can protect the communities being targeted by the drug war. It’s a touchy topic, but together, Chris and Tony discuss the solutions we should be taking going forward.

Listen to the podcast here:

Creating a Cannabis Application That Works with Social Equity Expert Chris Nani

I hope everybody is doing well. I am here in Denver, Colorado. We’re on lockdown and the weather is getting nicer and it’s getting more challenging to stay indoors. I want to tell everybody, especially the readers, I feel your pain if you’re in somewhere nice and you’re struggling. Here in Colorado, we have many parks and outdoor things that it’s been a struggle. I haven’t done social distancing but more so like walking the dog. I went up for a ride in the mountains by myself. That’s as close to social distancing that I can do. Staying all the time indoors is a challenge though. I’ve got my next guest here. He is working on some interesting stuff because some hot topics are happening in the cannabis industry. One I’ve heard, social equity. This has come up numerous times in different events I’ve been at, also talking with weekly, little small hour events.

This is on the front of people’s minds as the industry gets bigger and bigger. I want to introduce you to the Founder of Endo Insider. Chris Nani is an attorney, journalist and social equity advocate. Chris developed the Social Equity Assessment Tool, SEAT, while in his last year of law school and used it to perform a case study of Los Angeles’ social equity program. Since then, he has started writing a book called Understanding Social Equity with roughly a dozen other authors, notes to provide regulators and policymakers a guide on how to build their programs. Chris’s day job is an application writer and he has written applications for both medical and adult-use markets for all parts of the supply chain, including dispensaries, processors and cultivation facilities. Chris, thank you for being on. How are you?

Thanks, Tony. I’m doing well.

Chris, before we get into social equity, I’d like to ask you, you’re creating individual cannabis experience. What started Endo Insiders?

Endo Insider is an online cannabis publication. First, I love writing articles. Staying relevant to news, helps me stay up-to-date with things. I also wanted to make it to help new people get into the industry. A lot of the writers for Endo Insider, for example, don’t have prior cannabis experience, but this is their stepping stone into the industry. When I first got into the industry, I had someone do that for me and I wanted to return that favor. A lot of the writers have been doing above and beyond talented jobs we’ve taken off this month.

How many writers do you have at Endo Insider? 

I have about ten writers. We have an editor, an IT guy and a social media team. We’re all relatively in the same experience group. We’re all new to this, but seeing what happens and running with it.

There are a lot of people that are consulting. There are a lot of event planners but I haven’t seen a whole lot of new publications. I did a little reading and you started it because you didn’t see a lot of people focusing on this part of the industry.

There were a few major publications, but what they do they focus on specific niche areas. I would say the big contrast between those and Endo Insider is, for example, we have a section called Lifestyle. It is for truly all types of cannabis users. We had one article come out called Top Five Stoners of The Century and people liked that article.

Are you already connected with a podcast or you have a podcast?

We are not connected with one but we’re starting one. It’s going to be called The Endocast.

Are you following it along with the same guidelines for the inexperienced cannabis person, is that what you’re growing into with the podcast?

That’s what we’re doing. One of our social media guys, it was his idea to come up with the podcast and he’s been going around asking, interviewing different people in various stages of the cannabis center. We’ve been speaking to a lot of budtenders, growers, we’re looking for people on the ground that know what’s happening at their store so we can get a little glimpse of what’s going on.

It’s tough to see what’s going on unless you’re in the middle of it. I was in the middle of it for a long time and slowly digging back into it and understanding that the mainstream media has no idea what’s going on. They’re up and we’re down. We’re up and they’re down. It’s this crazy yo-yo effect that I’ve noticed happened a lot. The other reason I have you on too is you are an application writer. This is such a major part of starting in the industry. There are not too many people that talk about it because honestly, paperwork is challenging for a lot of people. How did you get started as an application writer? What brought you to that place?

PP 41 | Social Equity

Social Equity: When you’re writing your application, you don’t want to bore or intimidate someone. You want them to be excited to read your application, in every sense possible.

It’s a funny story. A couple of years ago, I got an offer to intern at a law firm in Denver and I was living in Ohio at the time. I came out here. I came a little late to the program though, so there wasn’t a lot of legal work for me. I said, “I don’t want to sit around. I’ll go around asking for work.” One of my coworkers happened to be an application writer. He said, “Could you start editing this? Can you start revising this?” Eventually, at the end of the summer, we became good acquaintances and I started writing little parts of it. By happenstance, you could say I started writing applications.

That’s how it seems like many people’s stories, you fall into it. That’s how we all ended up where we’re at. We’re like, “I didn’t think I would be doing this.”

Especially in the cannabis industry, it’s new. Who would have thought that all the progress has made even within the last few years?

The application process, knowing how to write one well, being able to relate to the regulators on the other end, has to become with these challenges. 

It is a different form of writing. Unlike reading a newspaper article, this is a little more technical. The best example I can give to people that are interested in learning to write or trying to grasp what all it entails. If you’ve ever played with Legos before, the instructions they have, it’s methodical the way they lay it out. That’s ideally the way you should approach it when you’re doing an SOP as well. You lay it out, step 1, 2, this is our business plan. This is how things are going to happen.

When I started in 2010, we had a grip on paperwork. For one person, it was mostly banking financials, but then we had the application on top of it. The thing stood two inches high. I’m sure they’d minimize that a little bit at this point. It depends on the state. Every state is a little bit different. 

One example of some states going on, one extreme would be Missouri. Their application was online. The questions were broken down by a word limit. Some of them were as short as 500 words. Nothing you and I have ever written before. The other states like New York don’t even have a limit on their applications. I’ve seen applications upwards of thousands of pages.

It’s because they’re longer, does that mean they’re going to have a better opportunity have you seen? 

There’s a certain minimum you’ll need. A business plan probably isn’t fully thought out if it’s only a couple of pages. If I was a regulator and I saw a business plan that was 100 pages and one that was 5,000 pages, I’d probably look at the one that’s 100 because they could do it and they were concise about it. They seem to be a little more collective with their thoughts.

For the readers, less is more is a good way to approach that.

In this situation, there’s always a sweet spot. You don’t want to bore someone or intimidate someone and you want them to be able to be in every sense possible excited to read your application.

We have to remember these guys work for the government. There’s going to be a bit of, I don’t want to call it lazy, but they work. They punch a clock, come in, have the same repetitive life over and over again. Creating a business plan or an application that’s enjoyable to read has to be probably with some of the first things you need to think about as you’re producing this I would say. 

When we’re making an application, there are two things you need to focus on. The first one is the actual scoring of it, the mechanisms to get the points. The second, and I would say as equally important is the delivery of the application. You look at an application set that’s all block text, I’m not sure I want to read that, but if we start putting headers, subheaders, we break it down. We have markers to know where everything clearly is, it’s a lot more navigable for a regulator and they’re more interested in reading that than block text.

It seems like they can go through and review it easily too because they could pick, maybe some stuff doesn’t matter to them. They could go through and say, “This makes sense to me,” and not have to read the entire application if they don’t want to.

It’s like a law exam. For lawyers, they take a law exam before they get a license. One thing I was already taught going through the class for the bar was that these graders, they’re not looking at your whole answer. They’re looking for 1 or 2 keywords within a paragraph and then they’re moving on. The same logic there with the regulators, they will scrutinize certain parts a little bit more.

What are some of the best states that you’ve worked with over the last couple of years? 

Different states use different application processes. Click To Tweet

My favorite application was probably Illinois’ adult-use application. The reason I liked it is that they broke it down clearly what they wanted in each exhibit. They had multiple FAQs where you could ask a question and they would clarify it. They didn’t just take one question either. They had pages of answers. If you were looking for something, you could find an answer there. They had page limits too, which I appreciate because then you know when to stop.

Page limit, I haven’t heard that one before. They had a great launch, as every state does. They’ve been selling out. Did you put in more than one application in Illinois?

For Illinois, I wrote fourteen applications and I had three different clients I worked with.

You have several applications being put for one client, is that right?

Yes, all of my clients put in 4 or 5 applications.

What was the outcome of putting in?

We haven’t gone there yet. May 1st is when we find out, I’m excited about it. My fingers are crossed. I saw in Chicago, for example, there are about 2,500 applications ever submitted. It’s going to be some tough competition and I’m excited to see what happens.

What policy do you have? There’s no guarantee you’re going to get a license when these people come to you and say, “I would like you to write this for us. What are my odds of getting one?” How do you work with the client and explain, “This is what’s going to happen, these are the things we’re going to do, but we can’t guarantee where our work is going to be accepted?”

I’m a big fan of data metrics. That’s usually how I try to explain things. With clients, for example, I’ll show them the probability of winning in certain areas. The BLS region for Chicago was the most competitive one because it had the most applications. Granted there were the most licenses available there, but also the biggest demand by far. You look at smaller regions where there were only 1, 3 licenses available and your chances of winning there skyrocket astronomically. That’s because the competition isn’t going there. They want to be in the prime spot, which is Chicago. It’s about hedging your bet in getting your odds as minimal as possible so you can find a license to win.

I’ve talked about this several times in other episodes. It’s because it’s the hottest place, that does not mean it’s going to be the most valuable to the licenser at the end of the process. You can get into little niche areas where there might be 1 or 2 licenses allotted in that locality and nobody finds them or they’re not paying attention. All of a sudden, you’re 1 of 2 dispensers in a big area and you have an awesome market. I’m sure you’ve seen the number of those come up in the last couple of years.

One thing I advised some of my clients on was, “These border states and regions across states that either have a program or don’t have a program that’s up to par, they’re going to be coming to you for business.” People do go across state lines to buy marijuana. It happens a lot. It’s an excellent way to catch traffic too because you’re right there getting everyone. It’s a geographical monopoly as well.

I use the analogy. Here in Colorado, you can’t buy fireworks or you can’t buy illegal fireworks, which things that fly in the air. Having grown up in Northern Colorado, we had Cheyenne right next door. Cheyenne, you could go and spend a couple of $100 and get all the flying fireworks you want and then drive right back to Fort Collins or Loveland and fire them off. You didn’t want to get in trouble, but it was something that happened all the time. When you showed up there for that 1 or 2 weeks when everybody was shown, “Those guys have more traffic than any other fireworks stand anywhere close to them,” and they were miles apart, 5,000 miles away from the next fireworks store.

When you guys are looking at your locations, keep these little outskirts in mind because these are gold mines and you wouldn’t even know it unless you have experienced some of it. My first dispenser, we were on the farthest edge of Denver and we thought nobody would show up. We didn’t have any in the next county next to us. We crushed it for several years because there was nobody out there. It was that border thing that you’re talking about. I want to get you into what we have you on for. You were talking about metrics before and tools and the assessment tool that you created back when you were in Los Angeles going through law school. What made you start this process of, “I’m going to develop this social equity tool? This makes sense.” What was happening at that time? 

When I first started my legal career in Denver with the internship position, during one of the company meetings, they mentioned the word social equity, and that’s where I first learned about it. The concept of it, I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Going into my last year of law school after that, I was more interested in writing more about it, researching it. The big issue I ran into though was that there was no literature on it. There was nothing on it. No talks, no discussions, nothing. I took it upon myself to get the ball rolling. My goal wasn’t to make a perfect metric. It was to get something to get a conversation started. An initial framework if you’d want. Since then, it’s gotten a lot of good feedback and I’m working on a new version that I’m tweaking, a TBD for that, but I’ve gotten awesome feedback from it.

This is such a big topic, especially over the last several months I’ve seen in many places. What is driving this? Why is this being pushed on more and more daily?

PP 41 | Social Equity

Social Equity: The war on drugs targeted minority and low-income communities, and these are the people now currently serving excessively large sentences for drugs.

 

As an industry, we look at our history and we’re more conscious of that than other industries. For example, you look at the cannabis industry, there is a long war on drugs. There is prohibition. There were a lot of harsh drug laws that destroyed families. The fact now that people are starting to profit off this become millionaires, multimillionaires, and then you have another person who did the same activity a few years ago now incarcerated potentially for 25-plus years, it doesn’t seem right. There’s this notion that something isn’t just, something isn’t fair here and that it should be changed.

This affects a lot of minorities.

Largely in part, the war on drugs targeted minority communities, low-income communities. These are the people now serving excessively large sentences because of this.

This is a tool that regulators can use to build their programs from what I’ve been reading. You’re explaining this to a lot of people that don’t know what social equity is, would that be correct?

Yes, usually the first question is what social equity is? From there, it can be I’ve heard everything between, but everyone is still a novel concept of regulators and policymakers, students.

Did you create this tool on your own? Did you work with a couple of other attorneys or some other writers?

I did create this on my own only in the sense that I was there to compile the information. A lot of the metrics themselves came from me talking to business owners, talking to people in social equity programs, regulators, policymakers. Everyone’s few and far between and getting their opinion of, “What’s going on? Why you think this is happening?” Using Los Angeles as the first case study, that’s when I was able to analyze the program and understand where the faults were in it.

Los Angeles, even now they have a lot of licensees, but there weren’t many different legal and illegal businesses being run there. You probably saw the gamut of different business owners and minority to white to affluent. There had been several different business owners as you were talking to at that time. 

That was our main goal when went out there was to speak to every type of business of every caliber. We did go on and did unregulated stores. We talked to their owners. We went to regulated stores. We even went somewhere in Hollywood and that was great, but it was a different vibe and people were not talking about the same issues they were, say in Inglewood for example.

I looked through the different metrics that you pulled out of here and a couple of them come on, especially the expungement. This is something that I personally had. I had a close call list when I was getting my license. I was a couple of years prior to that. I had been solely medical marijuana but I was growing in a basement, it was one of those things where we had a few regulations, but it wasn’t true regulations. There were only a couple of things you had to follow. The police weren’t up-to-date with what was happening at the time. The authorities weren’t happy about the changing rules. We met with a lot of adversity coming out as caregivers. That’s what I was. You come out and talk to the police and they strictly thought we were drug dealers that were legal now or trying to be legal. There were a lot of animosities that were towards that group.

I had received a misdemeanor a couple of years prior to getting my license in the City of Denver. Talk about anxiety, because at the time in 2009 when we had forwarded this business as totally legitimate, we had to put up a lot of that money. A lot of those expenses that you talk about in your tools and trying to help with other people and help them along through the process. Dealing with the fact that I had a drug charge of any kind was extremely stressful. When you talk about people that have been affected by this and years prior, five years, they had a lot of limits. I barely went under that only because I had a misdemeanor, only because I had probably spent the money to get the right attorney that was going to help me through this process. These little speed bumps come along trying to get these licenses. How many people is this affecting when they go and try to apply for this stuff and applications?

There’s a large disenfranchisement because of that. That’s one thing a lot of grassroots movements have also been more conscious of raising awareness about. Any drug-related felony, for example, automatically disbars you from any ownership of any cannabis business, which puts someone in a difficult position. You can’t get into a regulated, lawful market, but you have all this skill and knowledge about cannabis still. What are they going to do with that? They’re still going to apply that in some way, some form.

I even had employees that as regulations were tightening and they had to come forward with information about more in-depth. They were great employees, but they freaked out and they like, “I’m out of it.” It was unfortunate because it drove them either out of business completely or back into the black market, which doesn’t help anybody. I’m sure you’ve seen that a number of times too.

I worked with someone who had a five-year gap in their resume and it said, “You could talk to me about this and I’ll talk to you about it.” What were they doing? They were still doing their job. They were cultivating, but they were not doing it lawfully. That’s what you’re going to see. You might see gaps on resumes and someone is saying, “If you’d like me to explain it, I’m more than happy to.”

I’ve been out of direct contact with the plant for roughly a few years. I have seen even new players in other states. I tell them that I was involved and I explained what’s going on. These guys don’t understand that there’s a large part of our market that people are growing up into the legal side of it. There’s some stuff that we had to do to get ourselves to this point, but you get looked down upon and I forget that feeling sometimes. I can imagine the social equity aspect of it, no wonder they’re scared. 

Your legal perspective isn't necessarily the same as someone whose boots are on the ground. Click To Tweet

If you want something to change, you have to give someone the ability to change. That’s where expungements come in. If you want these people to be back into a regulated, lawful market, you have to give them first off the option to do it and then you have to make it as easy as possible. You look at some states and they ask for mountains of paperwork, multiple stamps, you have to wait. There are large fees on top of that. What we see now in a large trend are automatic expungements. That is one of the best ideas ever to happen because it instantly saves money within the judicial system. There are fewer people in prisons, yet you have to house, there are fewer trials you have to go through. A lot of unnecessary things are being cut or reduced, which helps everyone in the long-term.

Automatic expungements, is that solely for cannabis? Is this for multiple different drugs?

What I’ve seen in California, for example, is that it can range from low-level drug possession to specific crimes. Normally though, it’s low-level possession of cannabis, anything below X amount and it’ll be automatically expunged.

I wonder how easy that is for other states to adopt that mentality and take that and transfer over. Have you seen anybody taking what California used or other states and started moving it to their laws and their regulations? 

I have. There is one group, Code for America. They’ve been influential in spreading the message that, “We can use technology to find these records and then automatically expunge them.” States like Massachusetts and Illinois have started to adopt that. I know they’re also looking at ways to have automatic expungements, but I still think it’s something that’s going to be developing more so on the West Coast before it goes to the East. That’s how I’ve seen cannabis policy go. It goes from California and then it’s slowly adopted across all the way to New York.

California is more progressive in a lot of ways and it seems like that’s what happens with everything out of California. That’s at least my view of it. I don’t know if that’s the case for everybody, but that’s the way I see it. You also talk about in the tool of expenses and being able to eliminate maybe even some of the expenses for the licenses for people that take advantage of the social equity programs. Also, one thing I did like is in your tool you talk about taking some of the money from cannabis that I assume tax money, deploying it back into that community. Is that locality specific? Would that be to help out the city or town that the cannabis business in?

For the cannabis tax reinvestment fund, that’s what it’s phrased there. Ideally, I would like to keep that as local as possible. Understandably, it’s probably going to get cut up to go to the state for a little bit and then someone’s going to stay at the local level. Regardless, I’d like the majority to stay at the local level because those politicians are probably the ones that are closest to what’s going on in their towns and cities. They probably know that potholes on the main street need to get fixed before they get fixed in a residential neighborhood, for example. The small things like those people that are more local and regional understanding get before you go to the state level.

The people that are taking advantage of the program itself, since they are getting some free, they’re getting some stuff paid for them to build their business, would they be paying more in because they’ve got that? The reason why I asked that is someone’s seen social equity reading through this. What would you say to people that say, “How come they get theirs paid for and I don’t?” I’m sure that it’s got to come up at least a couple of times at this point with you.

That is probably the number two question right after what social equity is. Why does X person get this and I don’t? That’s not the best way to frame it because no one’s getting anything from social equity. When you apply as a social equity applicant, your fees are either reduced or waived, largely in part because we want to be more equitable. We want to help these people that had been per se incarcerated for 10 to 15 years for possession, reducing a fee from $5,000 to $2,500. It seems like the least we could do for them. In addition to that, you also have licenses that are separately made for the social equity applicants and those are there to make it more equitable so they can rejoin the industry. Like what we were talking about before where, “If I can’t join a regulated market with my skillset, what do you expect me to do with it?” This is the way for some individuals to get back into the market is through social equity programs. It’s also not inclusive of people that have been directly harmed by the war on drugs. Illinois, for example, you could qualify as a social equity applicant even though you personally weren’t affected by the war on drugs if you hired 51% of your workforce that was social equity qualified.

Understanding Social Equity is the name of the book. I haven’t read it yet because it’s not out but you’re working on this with twelve other attorneys or so? 

A dozen other thought leaders. There are maybe 1 or 2 other attorneys. A few people are from advocacy groups, a few of them are regulators, and then a few people are actual business owners as well. I wanted the whole perspective on that. I didn’t just want my opinion because I understand a legal perspective isn’t necessarily the same as someone who’s as boots on the ground.

When did you start the process? 

It’s been going on for a while. Before I started to invite authors, I had to get the outline ready. That probably started in November. Finding the right people to speak about the right topic was the next big hurdle. I spent probably 2 or 3 months talking to various people. Asking if they’d be comfortable writing a 1 to 2-page piece for this book because I do want it well-crafted and well thought out. With that, we also have major companies within the cannabis space as well. They’re directors of corporate and social responsibility. For example, I’ve reached out to a lot of those positions. I’ve had some come back with some feedback and we have one group sending in an article later for the book.

Is this a passion project of yours?

Yes. I’m not getting paid for it. There’s no funding. There are no strings behind it. I genuinely think that this book will help regulators make better programs, which in turn will make sure social equity programs have a chance to succeed. If you look at a lot of early programs like Los Angeles, for example, they’ve struggled. There have been multiple corruption charges, investigations by the FBI. It’s not a good picture for social equity programs. Ideally, I would like to see that change so we can help the people we say we want to help.

PP 41 | Social Equity

Social Equity: One potential way to change bribery and corruption is to divest power from one individual into a board and make it more transparent.

 

Why do you think the time is right now? 

The time is right now because we have a bunch of programs. We’ve seen the initial phase one of social equity getting rolled out in a few states. We’ve seen what works and we’ve seen what hasn’t. We can look at those now and do a comparative analysis. Now, we have data, we have metrics going back to that and we can pull from that to figure out what went well? How can we make that better? How can we make sure it stays good? What can we bring up to core that wasn’t before? For example, a lot of states have problems with individuals taking bribes or corruption charges against them. One potential way to change that is to divest power from one individual into a board or make it more transparent. There are multiple ways to fix these issues. The idea of the book is to say, “There are more options than what you’re thinking of. Here’s another opinion.”

Have you seen personally some big corruption stuff happened in the last couple of years?

Yes. When I went to Los Angeles, I learned a lot from the social equity applicants. These were individuals that were hopefuls to earn a license. They were going through the process and it was multiple steps they had to take background checks, criminal checks, you name it, they were doing it. Time after time, they were telling me these large investors would come up to them and say, “I’ll offer you $100,000 in exchange for your license.” For some of these individuals, having the money right now beats having a chance to have the money in 5, 10 years when your business matures and starts producing. I did see a lot of off the record deals that were made between individuals that, because of their financial situations, couldn’t say no or needed the money for personal reasons, could be medical expenses. They would take this deal and sell their equity, which was tremendously valued. Instead, they were underselling it.

Business people have taken advantage of other people. It happens. It’s one of those things that happens in all businesses and especially it seems to be this one because there’s this transition that’s happening or that happens in each state where you’ve got some people coming up from the black market or the gray market. They’re moving into where there are some business guys and those business savvy people that see an opportunist and they take advantage of that. You’ve got the guy that he’s down and out. He’s got to pay something.

He’s like, “If I work another 5 or 10 years, I don’t know if I’m going to see $100,000.” That’s probably more money than they’ve ever seen. It’s also you can learn quickly that it’s big, I would say, screwing up starting a business. It happens in many other industries, but I’ve seen it many times in cannabis. For people that are struggling with that financial side, your tool will help. What would you tell them when they’re trying to put their business plan together? They’re trying to understand, “How can I do this without getting taken advantage of?” Do you have some thoughts on that?

As far as the financial side goes, a lot of states, Illinois for example, are setting up specific funds that give loans to social equity applicants. These loans are low interest. They’re fair and they allow the applicants to start their business and then pay it back as they start to operate. That’s probably going to be the way most programs are going to be implementing loans and that loan money is going to be coming from the taxes so it all can interrelate and fund itself to help those social equity applicants in a transparent way and above board for everyone.

They’ll keep that in a different fund that won’t go into the general fund, then it’ll go to feed into loans, is that correct? 

Correct.

I read through the tool, but knowing that there are states doing, that’s amazing because I feel better about it that you said that. It’s like, “We’ll give you some help but it’s not free.” There are certain things in business that you have to learn that if you’re given, you don’t understand the value of it. They’re working for it, they’ve got along. It gives them the ability to get along. Getting loans in our industry is near impossible as it is. Some states are doing that.

Illinois was the first I’ve seen to do it. I’m hopeful other states will start to join in and I do think it makes sense, especially you were hinting with loans. Banking, in general, still is not a thing federally. It’s tough finding money then. If you go to investors, you have to look at the term sheets, you have to look at what offers, what interest rate you’re going with. I know a lot of investors prefer double digits compared to single digits in states.

Understanding Social Equity, when’s the plan to publish and launch the book?

The Coronavirus did knock our schedule off a little bit. A few of the authors needed to handle some private things first, which is understandable, but we’re looking at the end of April, start of May to publish the book. There’ll be online, it’ll be free and it’ll be accessible to as many people as possible because we want to start the discussion. We’re not saying we’re the definitive end all be all answer. Here are a few opinions from people that have studied social equity that might know a 1 or 2 things about it.

Is it going to be digitally-available as well? 

Yes.

Some business-savvy people take advantage of less privileged people. Click To Tweet

You have a website too. Where can people find you on the web?

I run a cannabis news publication called EndoInsider.com. It’s run by about fifteen other writers. We’re all stepping into this relatively new, but March has been our biggest month so far. We went from averaging about 500 views per month in February. Now, we’re about 1,500 and we’re projecting to get up to 2,000.

What do you think the big jump was? What happened? 

The thing is that we started focusing on helping other businesses out. One thing we published on all of our social media handles accounts is that if you’re a cannabis business and you’d like us to promote you, we will interview you, write an article on it, and then promote you for free. With that, we’ve been able to expand our base of readers, but also expose them to a lot of cool, interesting things like franchising or eCommerce.

You get to get some good content and they get to get some free publicity on that side. That’s great. Chris, thanks for joining us. I look forward to talking to you soon. Thank you for reading. Please visit me at PlantProblem.com and I look forward to talking to you guys soon. Bye for now.

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About Chris Nani

PP 41 | Social EquityFounder of Endo Insider, Chris Nani is an attorney, journalist, and social equity advocate. Chris developed the social equity assessment tool (S.E.A.T.) while in his last year of law school and used it to perform a case study of Los Angeles’ social equity program. Since then, he has started writing a book called “Understanding Social Equity” with roughly a dozen other authors in hopes of providing regulators and policymakers a guide on how to build their programs. Chris’ day job is an application writer and he has written applications for both medical and adult-use markets for all parts of the supply chain including dispensaries, processors, and cultivation facilities.

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