Social Equality Mentors Needed for Cannabis Technical Assistance Program

Social Equality Mentors Needed for Cannabis Technical Assistance Program

Mentors will be contracted from January to June of 2023 and will work with cannabis entrepreneurs.

To provide support to those interested in setting up a new cannabis business or those applying for Social Equity licenses, the Cannabis Technical Assistance Program Social Equity Program has been formed and is looking for mentors.

Back in 2020, the Washington State Legislature found that additional efforts were necessary to lower the barriers to entry into the cannabis industry for the individuals and communities most affected by cannabis law enforcement.

In accordance with House Act 2870, the Cannabis Social Equality Task Force was formed, and authorized the issuance of approximately 41 additional cannabis retail licenses for social justice purposes. The Washington Department of Commerce has partnered with the Wine and Hemp Council and Make Green Go! To establish social equality in the technical assistance program for cannabis.

“The TA mentorship program will help enhance applicants’ preparations for the Wine and Cannabis Board Social Equity Licensing process and help ensure they are positioned for success,” said Alison Besson, Representative of the Social Equity in Commerce Task Force.

The program consists of an online self-learning system module to help educate potential cannabis business owners on business planning and development, and group or individual mentoring of applicants. Online modules include 17 free videos to advance the understanding of business planning, market research, strategies, accounting, and business finance.

The Department of Commerce is seeking proposals to create a roster of mentors and a single facilitator to launch the mentoring component of the cannabis technical assistance program. The mentors will initially provide support services to early-stage entrepreneurs interested in starting a cannabis business, while subsequent assistance will be directed to specialized mentoring and support for those seeking social justice licenses.

“The program will provide applicants with industry-specific business education, first-hand mentorship, and assistance with developing business and financing plans while providing valuable insights and guidance that transcend the myriad of complexities in setting up a retail cannabis business,” Besson said.

The mentors will be contracted for a period of six months from January to June of 2023. The first phase will run from January to March 2023 and the contracted mentors will work with the pool of stock applicants in Seattle. The second phase will begin when applicants are selected in Seattle, which is expected to occur in February or March of 2023. Contract mentors will then work with approximately 41 such applicants through June 2023.

Mentors can also be awarded up to $40,000 depending on their proposed plan and budget. The selected facilitator may be awarded up to $150,000 to create three events in January, March, and June 2023 to support program participants.

The trade is looking for contractors with experience in the following areas:

  • Accounting specialists
  • Cannabis business experts
  • Specializing in finance, fundraising or venture capital
  • legal expert
  • real estate professionals
  • rules and regulations
  • Security professionals
  • social equality
  • Tax professionals
  • tracking
  • Other applicable professional fields are not listed

Application deadline for mentors is November 28 at 11:59 PM click here For more information or to apply.

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