Market Overview

Meet The Newest Accelerator For Minority-Owned Cannabis Businesses

Meet The Newest Accelerator For Minority-Owned Cannabis Businesses

Growing a cannabis business in any sector can be challenging. But facing the hurdles of the very competitive cannabis sector, where regulations are unclear and often conflicting, and new players are entering the space every day, is even more challenging.

This is why the Minority Cannabis Business Association and Merida Capital Partners launched the i2 Accelerator, with the goal of empowering and fast-tracking minority-owned cannabis businesses that develop innovative solutions for the fastest growing industry in the world. i2 provides access, networks, tools and resources to grow participants’ relationships and understanding of successful models, while helping legitimize and scale the business.

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What It Does

Recipients will be awarded a minimum of a $50,000 investment, as well as mentorship, access to influencers and other resources provided by Merida and MCBA. Additionally, during the three-month program i2 recipients will receive access to MCBA-Merida executives, connections and networking opportunities, a designated working space located in Merida’s New York City office, and advice on managing growth, team development, investor relations, governance and strategic planning among others.

Interestingly enough, I2 is not exclusive. Participants are able to be a part of other programs and find additional funding and resources along the way.

Why It's Important

Mitch Baruchowitz, managing partner at Merida Capital Partners, said during an exclusive chat that Merida has already allocated a significant amount of capital to minority-and-women-run businesses that have met the firm’s selective criteria. However, he added they wanted to address the lack of small business resources for minority entrepreneurs.

“With i2, we can create a framework by which smaller entrepreneurs in communities impacted by the war on drugs have an opportunity to pursue their dreams first, but more importantly, can do so with the type of support and network resources that often take years to accrue,” Baruchowitz said. It's the founders’ belief that the halo effect of their ecosystem, and the MCBA's diligent team, on i2 recipients “can quickly make a substantial impact on other entrepreneurs in these communities that will resonate far beyond our initial humble efforts.”

Photo by Javier Hasse.

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