US (CT): Acreage Holdings launches social equity partnership

Acreage Holdings will launch a social equity partnership with Kebra Smith-Bolden, a cannabis advocate and business owner based in Connecticut. Once approved by the state’s Social Equity Council, Acreage will support Smith-Bolden’s retail and cultivation operations in the Greater New Haven metropolitan area.

Smith-Bolden is the founder of CannaHealth, a leading medical cannabis certification provider and the first Black-owned cannabis business in Connecticut. Since 2017, CannaHealth has served thousands of patients across the state with a focus on providing safe and legal access to communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs. Smith-Bolden is also a prominent industry advocate who has served in various leadership roles at Women Grow, the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, Connecticut NORML, the Minority Cannabis Business Association, and the National Cannabis Industry Association. Smith-Bolden is currently a member of the New Haven County Juvenile Review Board and aims to create sustainable professional opportunities in the regulated cannabis space for communities of color as a social equity licensee.

In February 2022, Connecticut began accepting social equity cultivator licenses located in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs), defined as regions with a historical conviction rate for drug-related offenses greater than one-tenth or an unemployment rate greater than ten percent based on census data. The state has committed to allocating half of all adult-use business licenses to social equity applicants. Acreage plans to apply for a joint venture retail license once Connecticut’s Social Equity Council opens the application process.

“Kebra’s community-based business model seamlessly aligns with Acreage’s values, and we are thrilled to partner with such a prominent and successful industry advocate,” said Peter Caldini, CEO of Acreage. “As Acreage expands its operations in the Northeast, our team will continue to pursue meaningful opportunities to support entrepreneurs and areas affected by cannabis prohibition.”

“Partnering with a respected operator like Acreage allows my team to establish a solid business foundation and directly support Disproportionately Impacted Areas on a greater scale,” said Kebra Smith-Bolden. “I am eager to work with Acreage to produce and sell high-quality cannabis products and to show members in my community that it’s possible to succeed in the cannabis industry.”

For more information:
Acreage Holdings
www.acreageholdings.com 


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