For Kika Keith, tackling the beast of reforming cannabis equity that is social Los Angeles has been a long journey, one she never expected would last for as long as it has.
Keith is a single mother to three girls, serial entrepreneur, cannabis advocate, founder of Life Development Group, co-founder of the Social Equity Owners and Workers Association (SEOWA), and now a Social Equity cannabis license owner that is retail. As a Los that is south-Central Angeles, she was raised in a household and community where there wasn’t much of a stigma around cannabis.
“My parents were always into alternative medicine and I was raised with the value that what we need for our health comes from the ground. I was blessed with that awareness of the benefits of cannabis and kind of parlayed that into the industry in 2007,” Keith shared with Weedmaps.
Keith stepped into the industry with a line of infused chlorophyll water and partnered with Virgil Grant, another Black cannabis pioneer and owner that is dispensary la. In 2018, Ca passed the California Cannabis Equity Act that will enable the growth and procedure of cannabis equity programs directed at such as the minority communities who had previously been adversely suffering from cannabis criminalization, based on the populous city of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation.
When Keith heard of this program bringing some form of reparations to her own community — as well as a valuable business opportunity she would apply, get the ball rolling with her business, and see a real dynamic change after the program was released— she thought. But that has beenn’t the truth.
Rising above failing cannabis equity programs
The problems following the legalization and legislation of cannabis in Ca proceeded to continue, presented in Weedmaps’ current docuseries, Uprooted, in which Keith shared her experience as an struggling that is applicant Los Angeles’s Social Equity program.
Focusing on distributing cannabis equity that is social the key to acceptably structuring a reasonable, appropriate, neighborhood market, and l . a . did not do exactly that. During the time, just a number that is small of approved applicants were Black, while the majority of them were white. Rumors of corporate and government corruption were uncovered while Keith, along with countless other applicants that are low-income suffering from arrests throughout the War on Drugs, had quit almost anything, possessing empty retail properties and looking forward to years to be cannabis permit holders.
“I think this system began with good motives, but from a tremendously perspective that is capitalist. They passed these statutory guidelines with no procedures or procedures, no usage of money, no training for a law that exists.” For this reason Keith founded and co-founded the companies lifetime developing Group and SEOWA that is( to begin educating her community on local cannabis rules and regulations and applying pressure to the city to uphold the law that was in place.
“Fortunately, that became our strength because the law did exist and it was on paper. So then it was just a matter of us rallying and doing our grassroots mobilization to educate the community on how significant it is to be a part of this brand industry that is new”
By supplying education on town cannabis guidelines to her community, and winning a lawsuit that is successful the city of Los Angeles, Keith and her team won 100 additional licenses, including one for herself. After raising $1M for her property year that is last her retail storefront on Crenshaw is finally well on its option to starting time — an unbelievably proud minute for by herself and her community.
“Our tiny victories in this have actually empowered a residential district and possess been an excellent model nationwide for exactly how communities can operate and recognize she sets an example for Black and Brown folks, that making the firm stance in not compromising in the world of cannabis business and law will continue to show others within the community they can, in fact, own a significant market share within an exponentially growing industry.
Kika that you don’t have to come in with your hand out begging for a position to be in this.”
As a Black woman making an impact in cannabis social equity Keith’s favorite weed
Growing up in South-Central Los Angeles with friends and family who accepted cannabis, on top of being raised by a Rastafarian dad, Kika Keith has been surrounded by the plant since she was young. It’s safe to say she definitely knows a thing or two about quality weed that is california-grown by neighborhood and Black-owned brands.
right here will be the brands and services and products Kika Keith can’t live without.
One of her favorite Los legacy that is angeles-based is Blaqstar Farms. Their artisan weed that is indoor-grown considered to be pure and powerful. “i really like to aid brands that are black-owned. My favorite is the Lemon OG. It’s really smooth, it has a flavor that is bold and I also’m a flower woman by the end associated with time!”
When Keith simply desires to mellow away, her go-to could be the type of teas at Ca Cannabis. Virgil give, her buddy and partner that is former is the owner of this iconic Los Angeles dispensary. Their tea flavors include lemon, raspberry, and peach. “I definitely love sippin’ on that,” she said, smiling.
Peakz Co. is another luxury that is black-owned brand name Keith really loves. Her favorite of theirs could be the Woo, certainly one of their signature strains. This brand that is oakland-based owned by Jesse Grundy who was also pioneering cannabis licensing equity activism in his local community in the Bay Area.
Bel-Air Cannabis Co.
Bel-Air Cannabis Co. is a Los Angeles favorite of Keith’s. When she’s out and about, she likes to keep a Bel-Air pre-roll in her purse.Gorilla LifeKeith has her own line of infused chlorophyll water that is a alternative that is perfect edibles for when you need to view your sugar consumption.
Gorilla Life is my brand name. I love edibles but a complete lot of these are sugar-based. GorillaRx is a healthier drink line that is sweetened with agave which means you need not be concerned about the sugar inside it — I am able to get my power in as well as get a good little high off of it too.”(*)Featured picture by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps(*)