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Groundbreaking Social Equity Cannabis Education Program

Powered by the CT Social Equity Council, Presented by Oaksterdam University in Coalition with reSET, Arcview, MCBA and INCBA

This trailblazing accelerator program has solidified the expertise of our equity entrepreneurs in Connecticut’s emerging cannabis industry - positioning them for long-term sustainability and success.”
— OU Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones
HARTFORD, CT, UNITED STATES, September 5, 2023/ -- The first-ever class of Connecticut Cannabis Social Equity (SEC) entrepreneurs will graduate Sept. 6, 2023 at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center. This is a huge milestone for cannabis social equity with CT SEC leading the way and setting the example for other states.

Since adult-use cannabis sales launched in Connecticut on Jan. 10, 2023 business has been booming. According to the CT Department of Consumer Protection, combined sales for adult-use cannabis and medical marijuana totaled $23.6 million in July alone. According to MJBiz, cannabis sales across the U.S. are projected to top $33.6 billion this year. Sales in Connecticut alone are expected to reach up to $800 million in 2026.

CT’s first cohort of social equity entrepreneurs have been granted coveted licenses in the state’s limited license market, in an effort to right the wrongs of the War on Drugs.

“Connecticut’s free Business Accelerator Program offered to qualified social equity cannabis licensees is a first-of-its-kind among states with social equity programs,” said Ginne-Rae Clay, Social Equity Council Executive Director. “Connecticut’s program is designed for individuals who won a Social Equity License to provide them the tools to take advantage of their license and open their businesses.”

At the Sept. 6 event, social equity entrepreneurs will collect their graduation certificates then pitch their business plans to investors. Networking will continue with a luncheon and business showcase, both open to ticketed guests and featuring key members of the growing Connecticut cannabis industry, including investors, sponsors and cannabis companies.

“We’re excited to work with our partners to bring visibility and investment opportunities to this hard-working cohort of entrepreneurs,” said Sarah Bodley, reSET Executive Director. “These innovative business leaders have worked hard throughout the past year, and this pitch opportunity gets them in front of key industry investors who can offer capital to help their businesses grow.”

The day brings together many groups who have been foundational in helping social equity license entrepreneurs in Connecticut, spearheaded by the Connecticut Social Equity Council, including Oaksterdam University (OU), reSET, Arcview Capital, Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), and the International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA).

“This trailblazing 10-month accelerator program has solidified the expertise of our equity entrepreneurs in Connecticut’s emerging cannabis industry, helping operators mitigate risks and positioning for long-term sustainability and success,” said OU Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones. “The one-on-one business pitch-building time with our deeply experienced coaches has made all the difference for our phenomenal cohort of entrepreneurs.”

Social equity programs have been built into cannabis laws across the U.S. Connecticut’s social equity program launched in the fall of 2022, to promote and encourage the full participation in the cannabis industry by people from communities disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition. This event will help the state’s first social equity entrepreneurs from Disproportionately Impacted Areas launch their businesses and succeed in this burgeoning industry.

"Any time a new, limited-license adult use market comes online, it creates the potential for outsized investment returns. This event will offer investors a rare opportunity to connect with multiple licensed cannabis businesses in one place,” said David Abernathy, Principal at Arcview Capital. “Any investor thinking about participating in the growth of Connecticut's cannabis market won't want to miss it."

Members of the public may learn more and get tickets for the Graduation Luncheon and the Mixer at:

Event sponsor:
Incognito Beverage - Gold Sponsor

About Oaksterdam University
Oaksterdam University is the world’s first cannabis college and academic institution to promote equity in the cannabis space, to lower barriers to cannabis licensing, entrepreneurship, and employment. Visit Oaksterdam University - The World's First Cannabis College.

About reSET
reSET is a nonprofit organization in Hartford, CT, whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector. reSET specializes in social enterprise ― impact-driven business with a double or triple bottom line. Visit reSET | Where Great Companies Grow (

About the CT Social Equity Council (SEC)
The Social Equity Council was created to ensure the adult use cannabis program is grown equitably and that funds from the adult use cannabis program are brought back to the communities hit hardest by the "War on Drugs." Visit Social Equity Council (

Chase Roberts
Oaksterdam University
+1 415-385-8072
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