Blackbird’s New Social Equity Program Removes Barriers to Entry to Legal Cannabis Market for Disadvantaged Entrepreneurs
TILT Holdings’ (CSE:TILT, OTCQB:TLLTF) subsidiary Blackbird, a software and operations company servicing the cannabis industry, unveiled its new Blackbird Social Equity Program to address racial inequality and remove barriers to entry to the regulated cannabis market. Decades of cannabis prohibition disproportionately impacted black and brown communities.1 As the legal recreational cannabis market now takes hold, the industry has not done nearly enough to engage these disenfranchised communities to ensure their inclusion in this rising economy.
The Blackbird Social Equity Program stands out from other equity initiatives by tackling the primary obstacles affecting disadvantaged entrepreneurs in the cannabis space – cost, regulatory compliance, and access to infrastructure. The Program addresses these challenges by providing technology, distribution and expertise to participants of cannabis Equity License Programs at discounted rates.
“Research from Marijuana Business Daily shows that 80 percent of cannabis business owners and founders are white. Yet in California, African-Americans are 24% of the prison population serving time for cannabis offenses, while comprising just 6% of the state’s population2,” said Jamal Barghouti, equity outreach manager at Blackbird. “Blackbird’s founding principle is to be good people, and to help good people every day. Social equity is core to our business. The Social Equity Program is a pathway for these individuals and businesses that wish to enter and support a robust adult-use cannabis marketplace. If they succeed, we are successful.”
Blackbird is uniquely well-positioned to provide this equity support because it is one of the largest technology cannabis logistics companies linking wholesalers and retailers to consumers. It affects many aspects in the cannabis supply chain through its software, distribution and delivery ecosystem.
Utilizing Blackbird’s ecosystem, participants will be able to get their products into the market quickly and efficiently using the same compliant software and services that major cannabis growers and brands use today. Specifically, Blackbird Social Equity Program participants will be able to leverage the company’s wholesale distribution, wholesale transportation, retail home delivery, and direct-to-consumer software and services. The program also provides technical assistance as well as sponsorships and joint-partnership collaborations.
“The program helps solve one of the thorniest problems for disadvantaged entrepreneurs – doing business compliantly,” added Barghouti. “The emerging legal cannabis market is a labyrinth of regulatory complexities that vary state to state. Because much of those regulatory requirements are handled by our software, it removes a huge barrier to entry for new entrepreneurs.”
Currently, nine Equity License holders have enrolled and are having success in the program, including Mary’s Flowers, a licensed Micro-Business engaged in the delivery, distribution and non-volatile manufacture of cannabis products in Oakland, CA. “Blackbird has provided Mary’s Flowers with very professional responses to our wholesale transportation and retail delivery service requirements at extremely competitive rates. We couldn’t ask for more,” said Fred Brown, founder and CEO, Mary’s Flowers.
For more information about the Blackbird Social Equity program, click https://myblackbird.com/social-equity/.
Blackbird, a subsidiary of TILT Holdings (CSE: TILT) (OTCQB: TLLTF), is a software and operations company that moves cannabis products through the supply chain. The Reno, Nevada-based company has cannabis distribution licenses in California and Nevada, transporting $1 million worth of product every day from brands to retailers to consumers. Blackbird’s software is used by manufacturers, cultivators, and retailers to manage and transfer inventory, create compliant delivery documentation, and track delivery orders. Blackbird also offers a robust e-commerce tool called BlackbirdGo that lets cannabis retailers generate delivery and pick-up orders from end users. By providing these operational and technological solutions to all types of cannabis license holders, Blackbird helps businesses focus on the creation and sale of cannabis products instead of building out a complex and costly supply chain infrastructure.
TILT Holdings serves cannabis brands worldwide through a strong network of portfolio companies committed to technological innovations that support long-term success. TILT services more than 2,000 brands and cannabis retailers across 33 states in the U.S., as well as in Canada, Israel, Mexico, South America and the European Union. As a market leader in cannabis technology and related products and services, the Company’s core assets include wholly-owned subsidiaries Jupiter, a company that focuses on the vast potential of inhalation through innovative design, development and manufacturing; Blackbird, a company that provides operations and software solutions for wholesale and retail distribution; and Baker, a CRM platform helping dispensaries grow their business. The Company also owns cannabis operations in states including Massachusetts, led by Commonwealth Alternative Care, Inc.; and in Pennsylvania, led by Standard Farms, LLC. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with offices throughout the U.S., and London, TILT has over 400 employees and has sales in the U.S., Canada and Europe. For more information, visit www.tiltholdings.com.
This news release contains forward-looking information based on current expectations. Forward-looking information is provided for the purpose of presenting information about management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward looking information may include, without limitation, the expected financial outcomes in the second half of 2019, the roll-out of adult use extracts in October 2019, securing financing suitable to the Company, the opinions or beliefs of management, prospects, opportunities, priorities, targets, goals, ongoing objectives, milestones, strategies and outlook of TILT, and includes statements about, among other things, future developments, the future operations, strengths and strategy of TILT.
Generally, forward looking information can be identified by the use of forward looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”. These statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. These statements are based upon certain material factors, assumptions and analyses that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making a forecast or projection, including TILT’s experience and perceptions of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that are believed to be reasonable in the circumstances.
Although such statements are based on management’s reasonable assumptions at the date such statements are made, there can be no assurance that they it be completed on the terms described above and that such forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking information. TILT assumes no responsibility to update or revise forward-looking information to reflect new events or circumstances unless required by applicable law.
By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to risks and uncertainties, and there are a variety of material factors, many of which are beyond the control of TILT, and that may cause actual outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements.
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