Eaze customers can now use their purchasing power to help address the War on Drugs
The War on Drugs devastated communities of color across the country; today, even in the wake of legalization, many people remain incarcerated for minor cannabis infractions and excluded from participating in the legal cannabis industry. Together, we can change that.
Today, social equity cannabis companies KGB Reserve, Cloud9, and SF Roots announced their partnership with Eaze to help customers address the War on Drugs by purchasing products from social equity brands.
“This shows how the cannabis industry can support the important work of activists and state regulators who’re helping communities hurt by War on Drugs,” says Eaze CEO Ro Choy. “As more cities create equity licenses to lift up those impacted, we want to promote these great brands and help our customers become part of the solution.”
Eaze Community Affairs Manager Darius Kemp, who helped lead the development of the new equity menu, has a personal connection to the project.
“As a man that grew up in a low-income Black community where my sister, nephews, cousins and friends have all been trapped inside the criminal justice system, I’m very proud of this work,” says Kemp. “The growing cannabis market needs diverse brands like these, ones that hold true to the historical values of cannabis: community and healthy living.”
Products from Oakland and San Francisco-based brands KGB Reserve, Cloud9, and SF Roots will initially only be available on Eaze’s Bay Area menu, with expansion into Southern California in the coming months.
Meet our three new brands:
KGB Reserve founder Mike Davilla joined the cannabis industry over 20 years ago, when his uncle was infected with HIV from a blood transfusion and needed cannabis to cope with his medication’s side-effects. Davilla stresses the role the War on Drugs has had on his community.
“My best friend was murdered over a dimebag of cannabis, and another friend’s family was killed in an auto accident on their way to visit him in prison on a cannabis charge,” says Davilla. “These tragedies reinforced my commitment to getting people the medicine they need legally and safely. Partnering with Eaze is helping make that a reality.” Based in Oakland, KGB Reserve’s “Sauce” vape pens are now available on Eaze.
Degi Simmons, founder of Oakland-based Cloud9, has been involved in cannabis commerce and culture since the earliest days of Proposition 215. As a beneficiary of Oakland’s Koncepts Cultural Gallery, an organization promoting art and education funded by Better Us dispensary, Degi partnered with cannabis grower and DJ Clayton Whitaker to form Cloud9 in 2010. “As a longtime member of the Oakland community, I’ve witnessed the negative impact of the War on Drugs on East Oakland,” said Simmons. “Cloud9 is a product of the community’s resilience and we’re working with Eaze to give consumers a chance to support cannabis culture.” Cloud9 flower is now available on Eaze.
Flower from San Francisco-based SF Roots’ small, boutique grow is also now available on Eaze. Founder and CEO Morris Kelly started in the cannabis industry 13 years ago making edibles under Proposition 215 for local collectives, then launched Greencuredelivery cannabis delivery service in 2015. “Equity is about leveling the playing field for companies who paved the way for this economic green rush,” said Kelly. “We’re this industry’s originators, it’s about getting consumers to support equity brands every day. We are partnering with Eaze to ensure that happens.”
KGB Reserve and Cloud9 hold licenses through the City of Oakland’s groundbreaking cannabis social equity program, which requires that at least half of all cannabis permits must be issued to equity applicants. Although the City of San Francisco has yet to issue non-retailer equity licenses, SF Roots holds its license through the City and meets the city’s equity criteria.
This announcement comes a month after Eaze launched Momentum, a business accelerator to cultivate the growth and success of underrepresented cannabis business founders.