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BIPOCANN is a small business tackling a large problem — improving the disproportional makeup of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) entrepreneurs, business owners, and contractors in the legal cannabis industry.

Welcome to BIPOCANN's Monthly Newsletter

To honor our one-year anniversary, BIPOCANN is pleased to bring you Issue 001 of our monthly newsletter, intended to keep you up-to-date on resources, events, companies, initiatives, legislation, and social equity programs as it relates to BIPOC in cannabis. Look for the BIPOCANN Newsletter to drop in your inbox in the middle of each month. If you do not want to receive BIPOCANN updates, please unsubscribe at the bottom.

BIPOCANN: The Year in Review

Dear BIPOCANN Members & Network,

It's hard to believe what we have accomplished in the year since registering BIPOCANN LLC in Colorado and making our first moves as a business in August 2020. Despite the challenges that the pandemic caused in networking, the year offered many opportunities to connect with people across the Americas who are looking to improve the representation of BIPOC in the cannabis industry.

BIPOCANN was able to have representation at 12 industry conferences including the Cannabis Sustainability Symposium, Cannabis Industry Journal’s Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo, Cannabis Marketing Summit, Emerge CannaConference, Global Cannabis Intelligence Virtual Summit, National Association of Cannabis Business' Social Equity Virtual Conference, and more. We traveled through Colorado, and to Illinois and Virginia to visit BIPOCANN network members and partners.

We expanded our team, living our mission by contracting women- and minority-owned businesses to support graphic design, social media, accounting, copywriting, and operations services to support growth. Recognizing the importance of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mission, we pledged 1% of sales revenue in 2021 to the Cannabis Impact Fund.

Supporting our growth was the creation of BIPOCANN Workforce Solutions which is a consulting arm for business development, marketing, and diversity strategies. I am proud to say that BIPOCANN became a profitable business in March 2021, just eight months after our launch. We strive to be an example for other BIPOC businesses in cannabis, proving that ideas can come to profitable fruition by accessing the right support, resources, and network.

I am grateful to the early and new supporters of my vision for BIPOCANN who affirmed the problems of BIPOC representation in the industry and have joined me in advocating for a more inclusive industry for all. I look forward to the year ahead, and working towards creating a level playing field for all in cannabis through programming, resources, and business solutions.


Ernest Toney

BIPOCANN Member Spotlight

Each month, we will feature a member of the BIPOCANN network who is contributing outstanding work in ensuring the representation of BIPOC in cannabis.

For August, we are pleased to feature Ngiste Abebe, Vice President of Public Policy at Columbia Care, one of the largest fully integrated operators in the global cannabis industry with licenses across the US & EU. Read more of our interview with Ngiste where she talks about how social equity programs in cannabis are going, proposes some potential areas for focus, and acknowledges cannabis policy as a model to right historical injustices on BIPOC.
Ngiste Abebe (left) is Vice President of Public Policy at Columbia Care. She is pictured here with Ernest Toney (center), and Paul McLean (right), Founder of the Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition, last month on a tour of Columbia Care's facility in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Upcoming Events

Every month we will feature upcoming and future events that BIPOCANN will be participating in that we hope are of interest to our membership. Watch for special promotional codes for some events that are exclusive to BIPOCANN members:
  • Denver Marijuana Delivery FAQ Session - August 27, 2021 (Virtual)
    On Friday, August 27 at 11:00 a.m., Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses and Office of Marijuana Policy will host a virtual Delivery FAQ Session for individuals interested in starting a marijuana delivery business in Denver. This FAQ Session will answer applicants’ most frequently asked questions about delivery. This event is the sixth in a series of informational workshops hosted by the Department of Excise and Licenses to provide education and support to Social Equity Applicants. 
  • Inside Cannabis Social Equity in Colorado - August 27, 2021 (Virtual) - The Black Cannabis Equity Initiative will host a two-hour Zoom call from 12pm-2pm MDT to discuss social equity updates, challenges, choices, and opportunities in Colorado. The conversations will have representation from city and state officials, cannabis industry leaders, and will feature the stories of local Social Equity Applicants. Use this link to join the meeting on August 27. [Meeting ID: 871 6229 6197 | Passcode: 573849] 
  • Cannabis Business Times' Cannabis Confererence 2021 - August 24-26, 2021 (Las Vegas, NV) - As the only industry conference dedicated exclusively to plant-touching cannabis businesses, Cannabis Conference has become known for delivering the highest level of education for dispensary, and cultivation professionals throughout the world. If you plan to attend and would like to meet up with BIPOCANN, please send us an email.
  • Clio Cannabis Awards - September 24, 2021 (Deadline for Submissions)
    Expanding on Clio’s enduring reputation for establishing best-in-class programs honoring creative ideas in a variety of specialized verticals, Clio Cannabis celebrates the creators at the forefront of cannabis marketing and communications.
  • Cannabis Sustainability Symposium - October 4-8, 2021 (Virtual) - This touchstone event connects industry executives, advocates, scientists and thinkers together to envision a sustainable future for the cannabis industry. The nationally recognized event brings together top experts from across the globe to present on the industry’s key environmental challenges and best management practices including energy efficiency, water, waste, community engagement and more.  Registration opens in late August. For speaking and sponsorship interests, please email the Cannabis Certification Council here
  • MJBizCon - October 19-22, 2021 (Las Vegas, NV) - The most anticipated event of the cannabis business year is back! If you are seeking partnerships, business advice, investors, career connections, new products and services or to network with industry peers, MJBizCon is the place to do it. BIPOCANN will be joining other cause-related organizations in the Associations Day program on Tuesday, October 19, and BIPOCANN founder, Ernest Toney, will be moderating a panel "Increasing Minority Participation in the Cannabis Industry’s New and Emerging Markets" on Thursday, October 21. 

    MJBizCon is offering a special $100OFF promo for BIPOCANN members and network. Click the banner above and use promo code AD2021BIPOCANN at registration to get $100 off a full conference pass or an expo pass.
  • Black CannaConference & Expo - November 18-20, 2021 (New Orleans, LA) - Join hundreds of attendees at this second annual national conference for cannabis founders, professionals, and consumers of color. Early bird tickets are available until September 15. Use our promo code BIPOCANN50 at registration for an additional $50 off a pass.

New Partnerships & Initiatives

As a demonstration of our commitment to helping other BIPOC business owners thrive within the cannabis industry, we are collaborating with Colorado-based transporter licensed business Better Days Delivery, by providing this social equity company with a complimentary membership and pro-bono business development services. Better Days Delivery is currently hiring for delivery drivers and a dispatcher located in the Denver metro area. The startup is also seeking local dispensary partners - if interested, please send us an email

BIPOCANN in the News

We were pleased to be featured in some of the leading publications covering cannabis over the past year. In case you missed it, here are some of our media appearances: Read more about BIPOCANN in the media at our Media page.


OUR MISSION is to increase BIPOC visibility to advance representation and economic growth in legal cannabis industry of the Americas. BIPOC populations are under-represented in the corporate and profit centers of the billion dollar industry, yet continue be the communities most arrested, convicted, and incarcerated for cannabis possession and use.

WE BELIEVE the nascent cannabis industry, and its business and political leaders, have a unique opportunity to help the communities that have been systemically oppressed and underserved by making it more accessible, inclusive, and economically advantageous.

OUR BRAND name represents connecting BIPOC to the legal cannabis industry (BIPOC + Cannabis = BIPOCANN). We do this through strategies that: educate our target demographics about the opportunities to participate in the legal cannabis industry; recruit new BIPOC entrepreneurs and business owners to the industry; and create valuable collaborations and business relationships within and amongst members of the BIPOCANN Business Network.

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