Revolution Global CEO Mark de Souza announced today that the multi-state cannabis company is partnering with Organic Urban Revitalization Solutions (OURS), a Black-owned and -operated cannabis cultivation, dispensary and retail company, on business initiatives in the U.S. cannabis industry.
With the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Illinois on January 1, 2020, the opportunities to enter the sector have grown exponentially. Yet, the Black community, which has been disproportionately impacted by the "War on Drugs," has by and large been left behind by the cannabis boom here and in states across the country. Revolution is committed to advancing social equity in the sector, including assisting Black entrepreneurs.
"We're proud to partner with OURS," de Souza said. "Cannabis companies like to talk about social equity, but few walk the talk. Central to Revolution's mission is actively helping Black entrepreneurs break down barriers to create successful businesses in our industry, and that is core to our partnership with OURS. We recognize that the sector will only reach its full potential if all communities benefit."
Specifically, Revolution is providing advice on OURS licensing applications, expertise on raising capital, and consulting on operating medical cannabis dispensaries and adult-use stores. While Revolution is advising OURS on its applications for new licenses, Revolution has no financial stake in them. A joint venture for other future commercial activities may be announced at a later date.
Founded in 2019 and led by Chief Equity Executive Officer, community organizer and strategist L. Anton Seals, Jr., OURS is applying for adult-use licenses to establish retail-level businesses in the Chicagoland area. With a background as a social entrepreneur, educator and political and grassroots strategist in Chicago and nationally, Seals currently leads Grow Greater Englewood, a community group that focuses on food and environmental justice.
"Revolution is the perfect partner because the company understands the importance of growing the industry in ways that allow for more Black-owned companies to thrive and is prepared to address the specific challenges that Black entrepreneurs face in the sector," Seals said.