Outside the LGBT Community Center in Sacramento. Pride flag.

City partners with Sacramento LGBT Community Center to better assist cannabis-equity applicants

The City of Sacramento’s Office of Cannabis Management has partnered with the Sacramento LGBT Community Center to provide verification services for people interested in applying to the City’s Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity (CORE) program.

Created in 2018, the CORE program was designed to address the impacts on individuals and communities disproportionately affected by the over-policing of cannabis during the War on Drugs. The program offers assistance and resources to help eligible individuals enter and succeed in the legal cannabis industry.

To participate in the CORE program, potential participants must provide documentation verifying their eligibility through a cannabis arrest or conviction, residing in a low-income household, and other criteria during the relevant time frame.

The Sacramento LGBT Community Center will provide these verification services on behalf of the Office of Cannabis Management for anyone interested in being a CORE participant.

According to Davina Smith, who leads the Office of Cannabis Management, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center is an ideal partner for the verification work, as CORE and the center share missions and values rooted in history.

“The center has been instrumental in supporting individuals affected by the War on Drugs, particularly those who turned to cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of HIV and AIDS,” Smith said. “This commitment extends to the broader LGBTQIA+ and marginalized communities that faced persecution for using cannabis during the peak of that era.”

Disproportionate criminalization led to “to mass incarceration, police brutality, discrimination, and health disparities” for “LGBTQ+ people and members of the community,” said Christi Gray, deputy chief program officer and director of health services for the center. “This collaboration is our part in building a more inclusive and just society, alongside the numerous services the center provides to help our community’s most vulnerable and marginalized populations.”

Currently, there are approximately 80 interested parties looking to be verified to participate in CORE. To date, nearly 400 people have been verified to participate in the program.

To increase awareness about the CORE program, its participants, and their cannabis businesses, OCM recently launched a website for the program at SacramentoCORE.org.

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