Equity+ 18-Month Cohort Program

In the spring of 2017, the Oakland City Council enacted landmark cannabis legislation to promote equitable ownership and employment opportunities in the cannabis industry, to decrease disparities in life outcomes for marginalized communities of color and address the disproportionate impacts of the war on drugs in those communities.  The City of Oakland’s strategies to date have included prioritized permitting for equity applicants, exemption from application and permit fees, technical assistance, and financial assistance via the Equity Loan and Grant Programs.    

In 2021, the City of Oakland awarded a grant to equity operators who formed the Oakland Equity Collective (OEC). Oakland provided OEC with grant funds to purchase a property to advance manufacturing and distribution opportunities for both the OEC team and a rotation of six additional equity manufacturers in OEC’s Shared-Use Facility. The OEC Shared-Use Facility will provide equity applicants with both a rent free compliant location to manufacture products and support in distributing products to retailers.

EQUITY+ APPLICATION INFORMATION

Applications open on October 1st, 2022 and are due on November 2nd, 2022 at 2pm PST.

LINK TO APPLICATION WILL APPEAR RIGHT HERE ON OCTOBER 1ST

What the Equity+ Program includes

  • MANUFACTURING KITCHEN

    18 MONTHS OF RENT-FREE ACCESS TO A COMPLIANT, STATE-OF-THE-ART COMMERCIAL CANNABIS KITCHEN.

  • IN-HOUSE MANUFACTURING

    OEC'S PRODUCTION TEAM WHITE LABELS A VARIETY OF PRODUCTS EQUITY COHORTS GET PRIORITY & CONTRACTS

  • CO-PACKAGING & BRANDING

    OUR CREATIVE LEAD CONNECTS YOU WITH DESIGNERS - WE ALSO OFFER IN-HOUSE PROTOTYPING

  • INDUSTRY MENTORSHIP

    OEC'S MANAGEMENT TEAM ARE ACTIVE BUSINESS OWNERS IN THE INDUSTRY, AND READY TO SHARE

  • COMPLIANCE CONSULTING

    OUR ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM CAN GUIDE YOU THROUGH INDUSTRY STANDARDS AND PITFALLS

  • INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS

    WE MAY FEATURE YOUR BRAND THROUGH OEC'S DISTRO & DELIVERY AND TAP YOU INTO OUR NETWORK

EQUITYHOW INCLUDED

A state-funded initiative for industry professionals to provide consulting in cannabis business operations, compliance, and financial planning. Oaksterdam's core curriculum and OEC's direct support are here to help.

Who is eligible?

Only cannabis equity applicants, as defined by Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) Sections 5.80 and 5.81, that have been verified by the City of Oakland are eligible to apply for a spot in the OEC Shared-Use Facility. But remember, a subsidized location to manufacture means nothing if you don't have everything else in place.

WHAT YOUR COMPANY NEEDS TO BRING TO THE TABLE

  • FINANCIALS & TIME COMMITMENT

    Your company must cover the costs of operations such as utilities, specialty equipment, cleaning, raw materials, cannabis biomass, extract or emulsions to create your products, Lab Testing, packaging, labels, as well as payroll for work you don't do yourself. Funds are also needed to cover samples, brand merchandise, and your cost of running your brand.

    We provide many things, but this is still your brand, your dedication, and most importantly quite a bit of your time. Make sure you are ready to commit!

    The City of Oakland Collaborates with Elevate Impact to provide social equity grants and financial counseling to qualified individuals. Click here for more information.

  • BUSINESS & LICENSiNG

    Your company will need to apply for local and state licensing to allow you to legally create and sell cannabis products in California. Our team can help you with some of these applications, and many are at no cost for social equity applicants.

    The operator will decide how their business is structured and potentially registered with the State of California.

    The operator will need a bank account, commercial liability insurance, seller's permit, and other resources. A list to guide accepted operators will be provided.

  • PRODUCT SALES

    Operators are responsible for R&D, market research, brand promotion and creating demand for their products. Operators must also provide protocol to the production of their products, even if they want to take advantage of OEC's white label services.

    Cohorts must also find Distributors, Delivery Services and Dispensaries to buy their products through marketing, cold-calling, visitation and event attendance.

    Applicants to the Cohort program are expected to bring passion, dedication, participation and a viable secret recipe as all succesful business owners do in the cannabis industry.

OEC SELECTION PROCESS

The OEC Shared-Use Facility will be made available to six new or existing equity manufacturers. OEC plans to select two experienced applicants, two somewhat experienced applicants and two relatively inexperienced applicants. 

Optimally and subject to the application pool, OEC plans to select two companies* from each of the following categories:

  • Flower
    Companies

    Packaged and infused flower, trim, or shake and pre-rolls, blunts, etc.

  • Concentrate Companies

    Hash and kief production, vape cart filling and packaged extracts.

  • Infusion companies

    Any edible, health, beauty or topically applied products.

*The selection criteria is subject to change if not enough applicants of any specified group apply. 

Equity+ APPLICATION & COHORT

Below is a basic outline of the phases of the Equity+ Cohort

  • Step 1: Application

    The Equity+ application will be linked near the top this page on October 1st, 2022 Applications will be reviewed by OEC, the team managing the shared-use facility after the November 2nd deadline.

  • Step 2: Interview

    The OEC team will interview the applicants who receive the top 24 application scores. The OEC scoring methods are detailed in the OEC Shared-Use Facility Application. 6 finalist be be selected based on interviews.

  • Step 3: Enter Sublease

    OEC will offer sublease agreements to the finalists and coordinate the scheduling of OEC facility occupancy. The finalists who enter into the sublease shall be the members of the initial cohort (Cohort Member).

  • Step 4: APPLY FOR LICENSES

    Once a Cohort Member has entered into a sublease agreement to utilize the OEC Shared-Use Facility, they must submit a cannabis permit application to the City of Oakland and an application for a state license. 

  • Step 5: Training

    Training should begin while the Cohort Member awaits approval of their local and state applications. OEC will commence training in cannabis compliance, safe and clean manufacturing practices, and more.

  • STEP 6: operation

    After receiving a local permit and state license, the Cohort Member can utilize the Shared-Use Facility and work with the OEC to achieve their manufacturing goals.

  • Step 7: Transition

    Leading up to the conclusion of a their rent-free period, the OEC will help cohorts determine how best to transition into the next phase of their business.

  • Step 8: PAY IT FORWARD

    After the initial cohort graduates from our facility, the application process process will once again open to equity applicants in Oakland. This cycle will continue every 18 months.

head to the top to apply

The Application for the Equity+ Incubator will activate at the top of this page on 10/01/22.