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The Culture of Cannabis: Social Equity LA



“Equality of Opportunity is the Essence of Social Justice”- Tony Honore

To truly address the legacies of inequality in communities impacted by the war on drugs, then we must approach our social, economic and environmental systems with holistic solutions.

To better understand the sacrifices that the legalized cannabis industry is founded on is a conversation of complexity and high opinion. But the truism of the situation resides in many individuals and communities that are still suffering from the effects of societal injustice, corruption, and inequality brought on by the war on drugs.

Where do we begin with such an intrinsic transition towards a culturally diverse cannabis industry?

Los Angeles, California, the first city to approve the historic socially equitable cannabis measure. SB 1294-The California Cannabis Equity Act 2018. This bill is intended to reverse the damaging impacts on individuals (aka “cannabis criminals” according to our judicial system) and the low-income communities in disadvantaged areas that have been affected by prior cannabis prohibition and faulty policies.

While some of the highest rates of racial disparities can be seen within the Latino and Black neighborhoods, many people of color have undergone the brunt end of unregulated cannabis entrepreneurship and have been arrested for selling a product that is now an extremely lucrative market.

The Los Angeles Social Equity Program is a restorative solution to reverse the municipal negligence that has led to a decay in our economic infrastructure. Through the development of an industry set to better serve the impacted black and brown communities, and empower women and minority groups more effectively are the beginning of a sustainable industry like no other. Or is it?

On September 3, 2019, Phase 3 Round 1 for submissions of the Los Angeles Social Equity Retail Licensing opened. Preparation commenced; qualified applicants connected with investors for what was looking to be a win/win opportunity to own a California cannabis business. The downfall? Incompetency in corporate contracting and a faulty sense of financial education.

How can a newcomer to an equity enterprise be protected from capitalism in corporate cannabis?

Leading the way for the collective voice of the people, Executive Director of LA Department of Cannabis (DCR), Cat Packer, is an impact leader committed to achieving social justice and diversity in the cannabis industry. Advocacy groups such as Social Equity LA, California Minority Alliance, Green Believers, M4MM, to name a few, are driving initiatives to improve historical social justice issues related to cannabis policy, community reinvestment opportunities and resources to help guide applicants towards success.

We are at the infancy of what is a monumental shift in equal opportunity in the cannabis space and beyond. As we enter a new millennium, millennials are bridging the gap amongst racial and ethnic diversity between generations. As the largest (75 Million) and most diverse group (44% minority), millennials are dedicated to social justice and are inspired to develop a new and more luminous world.

Through harvesting righteousness in this equitable opportunity for brown and black wealth, we are ushering in changes for shaping the entrepreneurial diversity that will be followed by later generations.


Contact: Vanessa Macias

Phone: (661)874-8581


About Dust To Diamonds Incorporated:

In early 2016, Co-Founders Vanessa Macias and Mariah Dodson, set out on a mission to educate their community on the medicinal value and economic benefits of the newly regulated California Cannabis industry. As advocates and philanthropists with a synchronized passion for this life-saving plant, they were inspired to create a conscious-based business model to service their industry. With their friends and family’s well-being in mind, they launched Dust To Diamonds Inc.(D2D), a leading Southern California based health platform for wellness solutions and cannabinoid therapies. By 2018, the company was acknowledged for being founded by the youngest entrepreneurs in the history of cannabis legalization to be awarded cultivation and manufacturing business licensing in the State of California.

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Vanessa Macias is the Co-Founder and CEO of Dust To Diamonds, a wellness lifestyle brand out of Southern California. She is studying for her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Devry University and has over 7 years of entrepreneurial experience. She also has a background in fitness training, nutrition coaching and is a published author. With a passion for writing, she believes in providing engaging content to better serve her cannabis community through health, wealth and cannabis-integrated wellness.

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