Need to Know: Oakland’s ECO Cannabis Helps Marginalized and Oppressed People Break into the Industry

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<![CDATA[ECO Cannabis is operating not only for itself, but for people living in Oakland, Calif., who have been impacted by cannabis prohibition.The vertically integrated company runs an incubation program for social equity dispensary and delivery businesses in East Oakland and purchases 50% of its product from social equity companies. Out of eight companies that ECO has been incubating, six of them have graduated. ECO also promotes diverse hiring and hires people who have been affected by the war on drugs.Launched in January 2019, ECO has cultivation, manufacturing and retail operations. The company cultivates cannabis crops at a facility dubbed Mossrock and manufactures at another it calls Rubberrock. The two facilities, both in East Oakland, total 90,000 square feet. Its storefront is located at Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.Employment at ECOECO’s employment is diverse both in terms of who works there and what they do. For instance, the company hires and promotes people who were previously incarcerated, which helps those individuals reintegrate into society, ECO CEO Kevin Ahaesy said in an email.© Mike RosatiKevin AhaesyAdhering to an organizational structure and culture that aids those affected by cannabis prohibition goes a long way, Ahaesy said. “For example, to develop, manage and facilitate initiatives around diversity, equity inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) both internally and externally in a way that improves recruitment, hiring, retention, organizational culture, promotion, and progression for … employees … can make a remarkably positive impact on those employees’ work and life experience.”Roughly 35 of ECO’s employees work in cultivation and manufacturing, and about 15 work in retail, Ahaesy said. When looking for employees, he said, ECO partners with “job programs that cater to those who have been formerly incarcerated and/or affected by the war on drugs. In all of our job postings we also strongly encourage those individuals, Black, Brown, indigenous,…

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Source : Need to Know: Oakland’s ECO Cannabis Helps Marginalized and Oppressed People Break into the Industry

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