Washington state slowly follows through with equity promises, seeks mentors for technical assistance program 

When we talked to Joy Hollingsworth in 2021 about how The Hollingsworth Cannabis Company is Washington’s only Black-owned pot farm, the Evergreen State had a lot of catching up to do for social equity. It still does, don’t get us wrong, but at least now we’re finally seeing progress. 

Seattle Mayor Harrell recently signed three new equity bills into law, a small step forward for the city. Now, Washington is looking for mentors to assist with a Technical Assistance Mentorship Program. 

“The Technical Assistance Mentorship Program will help bolster applicants’ preparations for the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s social equity licensing process and help ensure they are positioned for success,” said Alison Beason, Commerce’s Social Equity Task Force representative.

The program will feature a self-paced online learning system module to educate potential business owners on planning and development. It will also include group or one-on-one mentorships for applicants. At first, mentors will provide support services for the technical assistance program, followed by targeted and specialized guidance for social equity license applications. 

Mentors will be contracted for a six-month period between January and June of 2023. During phase one, from January to March, mentors will work with Seattle’s social equity applicants. Phase two will begin after applicants are selected, likely in February or March. Once selected, the forty-one social equity license holders will work closely with mentors for targeted guidance. 

Mentors have the chance to take home some cash from this opportunity, with the possibility of receiving up to $40,000 depending on their proposed plan and budget. The selected facilitator may get up to $150,000 for the creation of three January, March, and June events. 

Who can mentor? The program is seeking:

  • Accounting professionals
  • Cannabis business experts
  • Financing, fundraising or venture capital specialist
  • Legal professional
  • Real estate professionals
  • Security professionals
  • Social equity business owners
  • Tax professionals
  • Other applicable professional fields not listed

The application will close at 11:59 p.m. on November 28th. 

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