As someone who grew up in the Los Angeles public school system, I always was so fascinated by stories of the Gold Rush. This event in our state’s history began a wave of great economic migration from the eastern shores of the country to Northern California and forever established the mystique of California to the rest of the world as a golden medina. But now, in 2018, gold is far less of a priority here than the fame, entertainment, and emerging industries that continue to build one of the world’s largest economies. It’s not a bold statement to say that this era will be known as the Green Rush due to Cannabis legalization across the state.
In the first half of this year alone, the state has generated over $134 million in tax revenue that will improve our local communities. Legalization has also reduced crime rates nearly across the board and helped reduce the rates of incarceration in select communities throughout the state. This is so meaningful for communities that have long been affected by mass incarceration and targeted by law enforcement agencies that have resulted in generations of broken families due to the formerly illegal status of…a plant.
While California wasn’t the first state to legalize recreational Cannabis in America, it’s attracting talent from local communities and afar due to the 2016 passage of Proposition 64. Also if you walk into any dispensary across the city, you will notice the wide selection of products that serve as a reminder that the era of joints and pot brownies are long gone as the main focus of the industry. Local companies including Culver City based MedMen are expanding their storefronts rapidly across the state in order to provide a curated experience for a new generation of recreational cannabis users. If you walk into any of their stores, you will see a wide selection of diverse companies that offer so many different products that may blow your mind. Lord Jones, a West-Hollywood based cannabis organization, specializes in a THC/CBD lotion that relieves great pain for anyone using the product. Foria, which was started near Venice Beach, created a product that will relieve menstrual cramps for Women that is far less harmful than most prescribed medications.
So why am I talking about Cannabis? Honestly, for too long there has been such an unnecessarily heavy taboo about the subject while it’s been a huge source of therapeutic healing for so many. Here at ScaleLA, we want to change the mentality around Cannabis and refocus the attitude around it to be primarily centered around healthcare. Thus, it goes without saying that our new 10th floor space will be open to Cannabis companies that wish to focus on improving healthcare for local communities.
For too long, cannabis companies focused on healthcare have been unable to conduct business in a proper and professional manner. We want to be the driving force for cannabis organizations from all backgrounds to join our network and have the tools they need in order to serve their communities. In order to truly serve as the engine of progress for innovation here in Los Angeles, we need to make sure that we are building the foundation for all emerging industries to be able to build a successful business that will be able to re-invest in local communities.
Beginning this fall, our doors will be officially open for Cannabis companies from all communities across the region that believe in helping others and plan to invest in the future of our city with a focus on improving local healthcare. One of the fears of legalization was that small businesses in the industry would be crushed by competing large businesses from out of state. Our goal with this initiative is to help small companies provide amazing services for the public that will not only help their organization, but also offer the community a chance to support local entrepreneurs. It’s time to de-stigmatize the industry and help small businesses succeed here in Los Angeles once and for all.