City partners with Los Rios Community College District on business management program for cannabis entrepreneurs

Expanding its educational offerings, the City of Sacramento’s Office of Cannabis Management this summer partnered with Los Rios Community College District to offer a new 16-week program called “Small Business Management for Cannabis Entrepreneurs.”

Open to members of the City’s Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity (CORE) program, the free courses cover a wide range of topics, such as understanding the different segments of the cannabis industry, navigating licensing and regulations, and identifying emerging trends.

The program also provides instruction on essential business skills such as accounting, marketing, and business communications.

“Overall, this program is designed to help prepare participants to operate a cannabis business and teach the essential skills needed for small business entrepreneurship,” said Davina Smith, who leads the Office of Cannabis Management. “Los Rios has long been a leader in educating and empowering our region, so it made perfect sense to partner with the district for this program.”

Launched on June 5, the program is delivered online and asynchronously, allowing participants to learn at their own pace, and includes a variety of learning activities. It is taught by faculty from the Los Rios Community College District.

By the end of the 16-week program, participants will have a solid foundation in the cannabis industry and the information needed to start and grow a legal cannabis business, Smith said.

CORE member and program participant Duane Lee said he has already seen the benefits of taking advantage of this educational opportunity.

“I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know until I started the classes,” he said. “I now know how to create a business plan and hope to open a cannabis business soon. Knowledge is the key!”

Not only has CORE helped Lee develop the fundamentals needed to operate a cannabis business, he said, but it has also helped him expunge an early 1990s cannabis conviction from his record.

“I am so thankful for CORE and how it has helped me get a fresh start and explore new opportunities,” Lee said.

Created in 2018, the CORE program was designed to address the impact of the War on Drugs on communities of color and other marginalized groups. It provides assistance and resources to help individuals and communities disproportionately affected by cannabis-related criminalization enter and succeed in the legal cannabis industry.

The CORE program previously offered educational and training opportunities in partnership with the Greater Sacramento Urban League and the Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce.

To learn more about CORE, please visit

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