In Episode 4 of Subsistence Crop, the Cannabis Studies Lab was honored to host Khalil J. Ferguson of United CORE Alliance for an episode of the Subsistence Crop Podcast to talk about cannabis social equity over the years. Specifically, Corva and Ferguson talk about different cannabis equity assessments across various jurisdictions and answer some student questions from Cannabis Studies majors.

To watch/listen to Khalil Ferguson Speaker Event: Click Below!

S1E4 Khalil J. Ferguson Interview Transcript

Jada Morrison  0:02  

Hi everyone and welcome to Subsistence Crop, a podcast cultivated by the Cannabis Studies Lab at Cal Poly Humboldt, where we talk about human cannabis relationships beyond commerce and prohibition.

Dominic Corva  0:14  

Khalil Ferguson, welcome to subsistence crop, it’s so great to have you and to be seeing you in person after having worked with you over the years as far back to the San Diego County equity assessment, 

Khalil Ferguson  0:25  

Thank you. It’s been a while yes. And we met on Zoom, and we haven’t met since since then, like you said in San Diego. So I’m happy to finally meet folks I’ve been working with for the past four or five years, you know, in person now. So it’s a pleasure to be here in Humboldt. It’s a pleasure to meet you in person. 

Dominic Corva  0:40  

And so we’ve been busy those last four or five years, when we met, we had some things that we’d done but like since then, our lives really, you know, taken interesting new turns. I was kind of hoping to find out like what have you been up to since that equity assessment? And if you want to start with actually what you were up to before the equity assessment, that would also be good. 

Khalil Ferguson  1:02  

Yeah, I think before the equity assessment, as we got into it, that was around 2019?

Dominic Corva  1:05  


Khalil Ferguson  1:07  

2018, I had just graduated from undergrad at Sac State studying economics and international relations and I was in the private sector, I was working for Wells Fargo and I wanted to pivot to get into policy and politics. I wanted to take my economic mindset and perspective and bring it to the policy world and be able to influence. I felt like there was a there was a gap in understanding of the economic inputs and outcomes that was affected by policy. So I want to bring it to the policy world. I ended up working for a nonprofit that focus on economic development policy and I didn’t even think… It was 2018, you know, for me 2016 when cannabis – Prop 64 – passed, I wasn’t real deep into the cannabis studies or Prop 64 so I wasn’t aware that it was delayed in implementation until 2018. So as I graduated and got into the policy realm was the perfect timing because Prop 64 had gone into effect. There had been already been debate in the California legislature about putting money into you know the various obligatory funding streams that Prop 64 mandated so you know, I was just immersed into the discussions now of the cannabis policy. So that wasn’t even a forethought of mine getting into this  RAM and work with this nonprofit. But I got thrown into it for my ability to analyze budgets for my economic perspective. So I was doing exactly what I wanted to do and now having that geared towards cannabis. So since then, you know, then the pandemic hit. So you know, and that relationship ended because of he does widespread unemployment as a result of funds not coming through and pandemic impacted things. So we started the UCA: United CORE Alliance, which is a nonprofit and taking some of my economic perspective, one of the first programs I launched was an expungement clinic because doing my research, I realized that having a criminal record prevents people from realizing economic mobility. A Harvard review study also said we lose about maybe 30 billion – we lost 30 billion in GDP loss as a result of the lack of production from having folks incarcerated from drug crimes. So for me from economics that’s a lot of loss. It’s inefficient because of, you know, politics or, you know, however you wanted to put that. So that was the first program we launched, but also wanted to put a board together and a team together that could go after cannabis equity assessments, to rightfully do the analysis and produce research and final products that were really reflective of the community and told the true story, or most accurate story of the war on drugs and how they impacted our communities. 

So you know, there are various instances where we would apply for proposals, we would lose, we would win some. I got picked up to be on the San Diego County equity assessment team and you no, that’s how we met. So but you know, from 2018, during the pandemic, that’s what was going on at that time. And since then, just being surrounded by the procedures of the California Legislature being surrounded by laws that we need to analyze and interpret to develop equity assessments, the laws to govern my own nonprofit and business law, tax law, etc. I said it’s time to go to law school. For one entrepreneur and me wanting to be able to write and read my own contracts. So every time something came up, I didn’t need to pay an attorney. But being able to also do it myself from as an academic standpoint, from an academic standpoint and just wanting to know that for myself. So I’m on year two of law school the expungement clinic has been running for about three years now. We’re still growing, the team is growing. We opened we purchased and acquired a dispensary –  a medical dispensary – outside of my home city in Richmond. So we just launched that in March on March 1, so it has been operating for a month. But that is you know, I attribute that to my knowledge now in contracting business law and having spent time reading the regulations for cannabis businesses. It’s been a lot but you know, the team is growing the influence is growing, the network is growing. We’re working on multiple equity programs are getting them started in Contra Costa County, San Diego is still flourishing. I’m still working with team in San Diego, they are growing. Money’s coming in, and it’s coming through us and coming to them. So I am able to see in real time how much money is, you know, that we’re able to dispense or disperse to our, our network and our team.

Dominic Corva  5:13  

So, one question I have is, I think what I’m hearing, is it were you funded by a Cal CRG Grant? 

Khalil Ferguson  5:20  


Dominic Corva  5:20  

Yes. United CORE Alliance, right?

And, you know, I’m teaching Cannabis and Social Equity the class right now, right?

You know, one of the things that I say to the students is like, well, we’ve got different kinds of equity policies actually out there. Besides the one that we all talk about, which is, you know, the licensing. We have, as well CAL-CRG. Community Reinvestment, and, of course, that goes at least 50% to nonprofits, and then 50% to generally public health institutions in different jurisdictions.

It is actually beginning to look at the overlap between CAL-CRG, geography and Go-Biz geography. 

Khalil Ferguson  6:01  

Interesting. I haven’t done that. 

Dominic Corva  6:03  

Yeah. Because it’s like, the reason why these things are happening in these jurisdictions is because there’s a constituency calling for it.

Khalil Ferguson  6:10  


Dominic Corva  6:10  

Like, it is not because like someone’s topdown decided to do it. And that’s kind of the upside of local control. There’s a lot of really huge downside. But I think the upside is that, like, you can actually see the places where culturally like, these places are ready for it. And usually, it’s in places that have been particularly hard hit by the War on Drugs one way or another. 

Khalil Ferguson  6:35  


Dominic Corva  6:35  

And so there’s like a cadre of professionals that kind of recognize the need, and, you know, have been making the argument and we’re, in many ways, the, you know, the people articulating the social justice, you know, sides of the advocacy for legalization, right? So there’s the CAL-CRG work, which the expungement, which I like to point out, it’s a legit pillar of, you know, the concept, right, equity in practice. And so I could, there’s community reinvestment to me, which includes expungement, but to me, it’s kind of like a whole extra thing. I was just trying to ask your perspective on that, like, what are the, you know, distinct types of social equity programs that there are and what has been your experience with that landscape? 

Khalil Ferguson  7:26  

I guess it really is subjective in what someone’s definition of social equity means. For some who, who operate specifically in a legal perspective, social justice, social equity, really just means, I guess, a rehabilitating or reinvesting into these communities, regardless of race, or gender or things like that, that have been impacted or targeted by police, and have been subjected to incarceration as a result of punitive policy from Reagan, Nixon, things of that nature. And again, if you go… so that’s just one layer of it. For others that may mean having a concept of racial justice, which is fine, but we know we have constraints by Prop 209, the equal protection clause in California and the United States Constitution under the 5th and 14th amendment. But so it’s just really the you know, the demographic you’re in who can relate to whether it’s specifically a racial or class thing, and others. So that’s one area of social equity. But then you specifically have social equity programs specifically by municipality.  Social equity program in Sacramento may have different legal definitions of what social equity means. And, you know, that’s why it gets very… It’s actually really interesting because being able to operate as a social justice advocate, was a black man, you know, I’m always thinking about race, but understanding that race isn’t so it’s something that’s barred or limited for, you know, for illegal use. But then from the legal standpoint, when cities adopt social equity programs, there are specifically legal terms, legal criteria that they establish that someone can meet. For example, Sacramento has a program that is largely based on if you are a resident of City of Sacramento, and zip codes that someone did a study an organization did a study and found that from 1980 to 2010, there were disproportionate arrest rates between black and brown folks in those areas. And they simply said, Okay, where those zip codes have just a portion of arrest rates for cannabis. Those will be areas that we will, you know, set as zones for which people can fit the criteria if they resided in those areas, doesn’t matter if you were black, white, brown, red or any of the ethnicities or the other races. If you resided in that zip code and had an income below the federal poverty level at the time for a five year span between 1980 and 2010, then you were eligible for the program. And that’s a legal specific criteria because someone who may have been conservative or not, you know, using cannabis back in the 1980s or 1990s, who all of a sudden may have capital or may have been low income and now have capital who was able to you know, increase economic mobility is likely to be able to fit the criteria because of that being able to meet that. They to an extent may never have been impacted by the war on drugs, may never have consumed cannabis, may never have sold cannabis or had, you know, been interacted with the police are now eligible for that program as a result of that legal criteria. 

So you know, at least from a – when you dive deep into it like that you’re like, is this really social equity? But that’s the legal constraints that you have given Prop 209 Because I can’t say specifically black and brown folks who were targeted by the War on Drugs, aside from not having a cannabis arrest are eligible for a program. I know Humboldt has a program, I’m not familiar with the with the criteria, but I do know that Go-Biz has recently said that their program was too exclusive and not inclusive enough. So those are issues that we have to you know, we deal with overall with social equity programs.

Dominic Corva  10:48  

They said that about Humboldt’s program? 

Khalil Ferguson  10:50  

Yes, it was yes. 

Dominic Corva  10:51  

Okay. So this is kind of funny, because you might recall, when we were doing the assessment, that Andrea had read Humboldt’s criteria.

Khalil Ferguson  11:00  


Dominic Corva  11:01  

And gotten excited, because guess what was in Humboldt’s criteria,

Khalil Ferguson  11:05  

Was it gender, or…

Dominic Corva  11:06  

It was race.

Khalil Ferguson  11:07  

Race, yeah.

Dominic Corva  11:09  

That we had been operating, kind of on the edge of that, but to be clear, like race wasn’t the sole criteria that you could qualify under. It was, you know, a primary set of criteria. And then like, you know, any of the following or two of the following. And so it wasn’t like a specific race criteria. It was actually an inclusive, you know, criteria, we actually included broader credit. So it’s fascinating to hear that Go-Biz has characterized it that way. What I understand has happened is that Go-Biz has decided to really eliminate any criteria that are about indirect impacts. 

Khalil Ferguson  11:47  


Dominic Corva  11:48  

And that that everything has to be pretty much direct impacts, although I think there’s still family indirect impacts.

Khalil Ferguson  11:56  

I think those are subject to change, because now court rulings are coming down. Judicial decisions are coming down that are saying or that are challenging them on constitutional lines and I read a headline and maybe a brief summary. I don’t remember where it was, it could have been outside of California. That said that that’s not constitutional. However, what I know for sure, is a recent Ninth Circuit decision. That’s the you know, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the Federal District that governs California, and parts of the West Coast said that Sacramento’s residency requirement was unconstitutional. Well, I’m sorry, it didn’t exactly say that. It was remanded back to the lower district court with basically direction that the appellate court said: “Yes, since you don’t want to operate or don’t want to answer the question. You know, we understand not wanting to answer a question where the law is very gray. But however, it is our jobs as you know it is your job and our jobs and reppin. Now speaking in there and capacity as the appellate court, our jobs as judges to make these hard decisions with our best discernment; however, and this this isn’t an exact word, but the exact sentiment, the road is not as unclear, as you may think. Here’s some case law for Maine, where the Supreme Court of Maine said that residency requirements for equity programs are unconstitutional.” So basically gave them directions and said: “Hey, this is going to be unconstitutional.”

Dominic Corva  13:17  

Yeah, I remember that. I also understand that like, the people who are like doing these kinds of lawsuits, it seems like there’s like, kind of five groups and like, like, one of them is like a couple from California. Yeah. But that can’t just possibly be that these are just these isolated individuals, like there has to be some kind of like…

Khalil Ferguson  13:40  

Well, the one in Sacramento was he was someone who was… he met the criteria, the legal criteria to fit Sacramento’s equity program and as we advocated for 10 additional storefront licenses specifically for equity folks who met the criteria, he and then I’m getting this from the facts of the case, he was denied because he wasn’t a current resident of California. He’s a Michigan resident, but otherwise, he’d met all the criteria and sued on that basis. And clearly the appellate court, you know, seems to be ruling in favor of him. 

What you’re referring to is the challenge on DEI, and a lot of the – and this is what I’ll get into later in our discussion is – the impact of the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard decision. And that decision, you know, narrowed the applicability of affirmative action. But beyond affirmative action, because folks think that that case was specifically about education. I’ve already incorporated into a lot of my legal analysis and some of my memos for my supervising attorneys, who will give that to their clients, our clients, or community members, and how that impacts our ability to use racial criteria or things that maybe come close to it but fit within the legal framework, and narrow that as well as it applies to businesses, and specifically equity and cannabis equity. And then not too long, after there was a case out of Tennessee, I think in the District Court. I think it went up to the appellate court. Where the Students for Fair Admissions decision and the language from that from Chief Justice Roberts was used to deem the SBA AA loan program as unconstitutional. Because, while Congress adopted a law in 1970 that essentially said that minority businesses need support. They identify…  They provide a definition for minority businesses and economically disadvantages you know folks, and they didn’t base it on general widespread discrimination. They framed it – and I like how they framed it. They said it’s individuals with individual instances, or experiences with discrimination. So from a, you know, conservative legal standpoint, you know, conservative legals is what I call they don’t, they are concerned with your right when your rights begin to infringe on mine. That’s where I draw the line. That’s where it’s unconstitutional. So when you talk about affirmative action. They believe that affirmative action takes away from their legal rights and infringes on their legal rights and makes them you know, worse off just for the purpose of putting someone else ahead. And the Constitution isn’t supposed to do that, which I agree with, with regards to just plain reading of the Constitution. But that definition provided by Congress in 1970, to provide the alien loan program, simply says that this is to remedy discrimination. So if you had an individual circumstance or experience with discrimination, then you should be allowed it – you should be allowed some benefit to redress that discrimination. And that’s permissible. The Supreme Court of United States has consistently held that was constitutional. What they did not hold as being constitutional was the fact that what just Chief Justice Roberts said in that Students for Fair Admissions decision was that these programs need to have a logical endpoint and they need to be measurable. So in that decision they said in Tennessee regarding a loan program was that they observed that the AA loan program had no way to challenge someone’s application for individual experiences of discrimination, and they had no logical endpoint and there they weren’t measuring outcomes. So the court said it was that aspect of it was unconstitutional. They issued an injunction told him to stop the SBA adjusted it, they allowed for measurable goals. Since you’ve redressed everything that the Supreme Court said was unconstitutional by the program and they relaunched it. So that has become the implications of the Students for FairAdmissions decision that those two folks that couple in the in the bay area or in Northern California are using to essentially go and attack DEI programs at big law firms at you know, some venture capital firms who specifically fund minority women, businesses, things of that nature. And that’s what how they’re taking that and weaponizing that decision.

Dominic Corva  17:33  

Yeah, it’s, it’s wild. I guess the thing that surprised me, I think when I read about that happening was it just seemed like this couple that, you know, failed at actually cannabis business in California, and had gone around chasing, trying to open up in other places. But that’s, you know, enough of that esoteric stuff. I want to give my students a chance to ask a question or two. And we’ve got Jad Morrison with us, Jada? 

Jada Morrison  18:06  

Yeah. Hi. So I just had a question about your background. And so I was just gonna ask, what is your relationship with cannabis and how does it apply to your work in the social equity field?

Khalil Ferguson  18:16  

Since I’m in law school, I can’t read and I can’t read in smoke or I can’t read after I smoke or ingest at all. So I have, I don’t use as much as I did before starting law school and definitely not as much as while I was in undergrad. Now, I think I use it on a Friday night, Thursday night if that’s my day off and I’m like, I know I’m gonna sleep in tomorrow. I know I don’t have I can you know have some leeway in my schedule tomorrow. Yeah, I’m, I’m rolling up something fat you know, right now I don’t I haven’t done it in a while. My girl usually rolls for me and she rolls thumbs, nice fat fingers in a blunt, in a loose leaf. And you know, we just sit there and talk. You know, we just talk for maybe like an hour or two and enjoy the night and and no go, you know, have some have some good sleep, especially after a long week of dealing with the stress of running the businesses and law school. So but I don’t think that really relates to my work in social equity, because that wasn’t why I got in. I got into, specifically social equity because I come from a city that still has a lot of street weed. Richmond was very much targeted and is still very much targeted and over policed. Well, not as much as it was. But of course, our communities are always over policed relative to other communities. But wanting to, still wanting to provide expungement services to my own community was one of the main reasons why I’m happy to be in this work, but it’s interesting that it relates specifically to wanting to even do their… We applied and submitted a proposal to to do their equity assessment. And the constant issue we’ve been having, which is why it was so monumental to get the San Diego County one was we’ve been outbid by a consulting firm that can keep their costs low and win all the small cities so they can they don’t win the Sacramentos they don’t win the Oaklands, they don’t win in Sacramento, they win the Richmonds. They win the Antiochs they win the city of Adelantos. I know they beat us there, too. They just provided they quoted 10k less than us on a proposal. And they recently beat us for Santa Rosa and Daly City. Santa Rosa and Daly City didn’t even open their RFP processes. So we found out we didn’t even know that SEI knew that they were going to win that you know, we weren’t applying for that proposal because it wasn’t open. But they’re constantly beating us in that and specifically in Richmond when they did the equity assessment. When they dropped the assessment, the assessment essentially went back to 2011. They assess cannabis arrests from 2011 to 2018. So like five… you know, two of those years for one cannabis has been legal. So of course, arrests are gonna drop. But you’re not even getting the whole story of the cannabis arrest rates and targeting of our community.

Dominic Corva  21:01  

 at all, because it was dropping during that during that period. 

Khalil Ferguson  21:04  

So we’re like, you could have Googled this stuff, you guys paid 40k for a study that I could have written for 10k just for my time to do the research on Google. So that’s the issue we’re facing in you know, in California Social Equity Community is those consulting companies who just have the ability to go after and write proposals and do their assessments are doing them for cheaper, because it’s less quality. And that’s the issue we’re having and that directly impacts our policy. So that’s why we’re in and I’m into it.

Dominic Corva  21:31  

And that’s what I see kind of as really changed in the landscape around the equity assessments is that element where like communities initiate the call to do it, right? They find out from their, you know, sibling communities and other jurisdictions that they can do this. They organize; usually, they get a city council member or a board member interested and, you know, in the early days, we got referrals, because we did Humboldt and it was very successful. All right? And so the, you know, the landscape where people were… where there were RFPs for it, but they were just kind of, they were coming almost, you know, as a result of these jurisdictions dealing with COVID and seeing like, economic, you know, issues. And having like that kind of stress, like, you know, tip the balance. I mean, they’re, they’re looking around for state funding for the most part, 

Khalil Ferguson  22:35  

Right. Exactly.

Dominic Corva  22:37  

So, there’s, you know, kind of a cookie cutter approach that that’s what I’m worried about with Go-Biz, and their new, like, the direct impact criteria is… it’s, it’s very quantitatively focused. I like that it’s direct impact. I mean, you know, like, I think that’s important. Those are like, kind of the first line in all of the priorities. And there’s, you know, the element of living in a traumatized community. Right, that is indirect. And also, what were those communities? When we’re talking about rural areas? You actually we have really high disproportionate rates for black people. So they’re always like, included, actually, they were just not that many. Right. But like our disproportionate law enforcement impacts are enormous relative even to urban jurisdictions,

Khalil Ferguson  23:29  

Yeah I saw. 

Dominic Corva  23:30  

Right. Right. 

Khalil Ferguson  23:31  

Two hundred percent given the populations. Yeah,

Dominic Corva  23:33  

We actually discovered that together. 

Khalil Ferguson  23:35  


Dominic Corva  23:37  

So there was opportunity to tell a story of a community and in particular, the one that kind of is missing these days, I think, is often the kind of medical community that in rural areas was quite evident and definitely, they were also hit pretty hard by the police in the early days, right? 

Khalil Ferguson  23:58  

Specifically CAMP. 

Dominic Corva  23:59  

Yep. Camp. Absolutely. Well, CAMP predated medical by quite a bit, right.

Khalil Ferguson  24:04  

I always want to nod do that. Because, you know, when we talk about cannabis equity, I’m intentional about making sure that hey, this wasn’t just urban communities that had over incarceration, you know. We didn’t have, you know, federal programs and, you know, federal government working with the sheriff to come down with helicopters over our houses.

Dominic Corva  24:19  

But you had helicopters over your houses, though. 

Khalil Ferguson  24:22  

Yeah, we had, we had the dirty birds, but they weren’t specifically flying within 50 feet over the trees you know right above the tree line or above the home to scope out, you know, and specifically to get the cultivated plant or plants. And, you know, so I was up and make sure, you know, we acknowledge that I don’t want to take away from that when talking about equity. So that’s divide, you know, it’d be more divisive than we are, you know.

Dominic Corva  24:44  

The enemy here is really, you know, the War on Drugs. And this is the thing is that I feel like that kind of united approach to like, every angle of critique we can get, you know, like at every opportunity. That’s, you know, it’s important because we have actually like, we’re in a rare, really unique position. I think you and me, found ourselves in a unique position, for example, and others to be given almost carte blanche to like write a story, because nobody had done it before. So like, come up with something. And it was like, Well, the way you were even writing this question is perfect. Right? Right. communities impacted by cannabis criminalization and the War on Drugs, tell us that story. So like, I’m kind of hoping that that element doesn’t get lost. I love that there was a 500 page assessment that, you know, talks about settler colonialism, that San Diego County assessment. I love that they should all be these encyclopedias. Right? So I’m hoping that the people who continue to, you know, write these assessments going forward and including your crew Khalil you know, like, man, anything I can do to support that. Let me know, but yeah,

Khalil Ferguson  26:04  

I will but you know, it’s becoming commercialized. So yeah, you know, let’s go on as corporate and commercial as you can. The intent isn’t to develop that city or county, I think will remain one of the most thorough 

Dominic Corva  26:14  


Khalil Ferguson  26:14  

and I guess theoretic in that sense. 

Dominic Corva  26:18  

I think it’s gonna be like the theoretical nadir, you know, like, it’s the high point of our ability to just like, go into every detail we could find, right. So and shout out to the actual… you co authored 100 pages of it. I was mostly the you know, a feedback and editor I might have had a little bit more stuff to say in some areas than others, but um. To Imani…

Khalil Ferguson  26:46  

Was it Imani and Lucas?

Dominic Corva  26:47  

I thought it was Imani… we’re gonna have to get this right and edited into the podcast. Okay. But it was Imani and Jesse. I’ve forgotten Jesse’s last name.

Khalil Ferguson  26:59  

I’m gonna just gonna pull it up. Okay.

Dominic Corva  27:03  

Much love and credit to those two. Thought it was Imani St. Brown. We’ll definitely edit this part. 

How are we doing on time?

Jada Morrison  27:16  

It is 440.

Dominic Corva  27:17  

Okay. Did you guys have another question? Yes. All right. Let’s do one more question from Jada before closing off.

Jada Morrison  27:30  

Yeah, sorry. Okay. Okay. So how do you think that being a community activist translates and stick into cannabis activism?

Khalil Ferguson  27:43  

I think in any way, in any, I guess traditional ways that activism helps you organize community. There still is, you know, cannabis equity is broad because of its impact. And cannabis equity is now is that just to me, and not to take away from the movement or take away from the studies, but cannabis equity is essentially another, you know, social justice movement that still touches on mass incarceration and police brutality. So when you when we talk about cannabis equity and the War on Drugs, you still are organizing the same folks as you would if we’re talking about, you know, police reform, when folks or when people are unjustly killed by the police. It’s the same community that are you know the same roots of that of the reasons behind why that occurred, and is still there – are the same roots that we share with cannabis equity. So being an activist, you know, regardless what you’re going for, I guess, their purpose, it has not changed. It may be the folks that you’re organizing with, because cannabis equity just draw out. And it’s been interesting, at least in some of our marginalized communities in that, as we’ve been advocating for cannabis equity, which, in the sense that we want business opportunity and economic mobility and economic attainment draws out a side of the community that isn’t a very positive side, because again, we know and I have to, you know, when I’m going to talk to my, at least other friends who understand the differences in capitalism, how capitalism works, and socialism, whether or not you agree on which side or what’s your economic framework is, and what you have to admit, this policy stance encourages folks to get in and to buy in a capitalism. And when you get folks to buy into capitalism, you also get folks to buy to competition and corporate capitalism. Because for one, we’re dealing with, you know, communities who have never been invested into so individuals who have never been invested into who have never had the capital that’s necessary to run these cash intensive businesses, with a bunch of opportunities springing up. So we’re getting very competitive and very, I guess, nefarious actors from our own communities who we advocate on behalf of and we love but then it’s like, they’re beginning to turn into the capitalist that to an extent you may not agree with, so it becomes an inflection point where you’re like, Man, this is something I wasn’t expecting but, you know, for me, for me looking forward and looking back, I’m like, can I extend I kind of expected it because I knew that we were doing by having folks by, you know, get a dispensary, you know, meet, have them meet with investors, you’re not going to get an investor or meet with an investor if you’re taking a socialist communist mindset, because you guys don’t fundamentally agree with how to spend the money or use the money because your ideas of money are different based on your political economic philosophy. So in organizing that community, you go from just strictly organizing folks who care about police reform, and not necessarily, you know, advocating for more business ownership to dealing with both like I deal with a lot of folks who are criminal justice oriented, and, you know, criminal justice reform oriented. And then also on the same time, like, we still need the business owners, but the business owners are becoming, you know, working with like, you know, there’s no, that the there’s no capital coming from banks, so you’re working with corporate finance folks, who are some of the most you know, crony capitalism folks from Wall Street and from the east coast, in some instances. So they’re having to specifically advocate or turns, they advocate for, yes, their positions, but only to a certain degree, so that they don’t ruin their investment prospects. And it becomes a very interesting dynamic. And as an activist to be, like, I’m advocating against the system, I’m supposed to be against the system, but I’m also bringing people into the system. And it’s like, you know, you’re introducing them to, you know, harm if, depending on you know, your your, your stance. So it’s been, it’s really interesting, at least as it relates to cannabis, and being an activist or an advocate for, you know, just changing the system, because, you know, by bringing folks into it, are you really changing it? You know, so.

Dominic Corva  31:44  

That was said, so well, and I’m so glad that’s gonna be on our podcast, I experienced that as well. And there is definitely a… I’ve spoken about it with Michael Polson as well from Berkeley. And I think we’re working our way towards small businesses being you know, something, something that is not just about greed, right? and livelihoods that people are producing, which are in the grand scheme of things, small livelihoods. Even if they’re getting investors. As being like, it’s super important to be able to prop that up. And so there are a number of other things we talked about as well. But it is fascinating to deal with being kind of pro business, right? Like, this might sound weird to other people. But coming from a very sort of critical background, Critical Theory background, a critique of capitalism and so forth. We’re living in a world where people are getting by. And we really want to support them. So with that said, I think it’s about time for us to head head over to the talk, talk. And then we’ll go have dinner. But it’s been a pleasure having you on the podcast Khalil.

Khalil Ferguson  33:09  

And before we end, I have to say something that we sit in the car that we want to make sure we sell the podcast and one of the biggest things I guess why I got a note when I guess my purpose now, and one of the ways I live by I guess being in the cannabis industry, cannabis equity and cannabis industry overall. My undergrad degree is in economics. I’m currently in law students, so and in the car we were I was referencing how this market from a purely market perspective is an emerging market. So you know, there’s still much money to be made, there’s more markets to open up if you look at them by geographic or, you know, legal municipal boundaries. But from a legal standpoint, there’s much law to be drafted by the legislator. And it’s also much law to be interpreted by lawyers and, and judges. So I’m live I guess, to ensure that, you know, I take part in the forward and in the moving forward, I’m taking part in the future of interpretation and drafting of cannabis law, sort of format to how we see it. 

Dominic Corva  34:06  

And when you think about, you know, the opportunities that are opened up in livelihoods in cannabis, basically, in and around that. It’s not just, in fact, it’s not even mainly the businesses. It is actually a lot of the legal work, which you know, includes compliance and consulting as well. Just navigating that stuff. It’s a massive growth field. So, so happy that you said that in the car, and remembered to say it now. Awesome. Well, thanks, everybody. Let’s go to his talk.

Kaiden Chapman  34:39  

Thank you for growing with Subsistence Crop, a podcast by the Cannabis Studies Lab at Cal Poly Humboldt.

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