Portland, OR – October 1, 2018 – PRESS RELEASE – Cannabis business veteran and community advocate, Jeannette Ward Horton, has joined notable industry equity experts and the City of Portland to launch a historic program focused on business access for communities targeted by cannabis prohibition enforcement. The NuLeaf Project, Prosper Portland’s partner in its Cannabis Business Development Program, was awarded a total of $150,000 to develop a grant, training and professional development program for communities of color seeking access or increased success in the fast-growing cannabis industry.
Nu Leaf’s NuFuel and NuSchool programs launched first to help cannabis businesses owned by people of color achieve greater success. The programs are intended to address the capital, education and connection hurdles that people of color face when entering the cannabis industry.
- NuFuel will award grants to businesses in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $30,000.
- NuSchool is an entrepreneurial upskilling program that combines technical expertise,
education and business mentoring services customized for the needs of the entrepreneur.
Both programs started accepting applications on Sept. 17. To qualify for NuFuel or NuSchool, applicants must be cannabis businesses headquartered in Portland, Ore., with at least 51 percent ownership by people of color.
Jeannette Ward Horton, NuLeaf project director, believes this is just the beginning, and that grant funds to businesses will increase based on additional fundraising efforts. “It’s important that the City of Portland has committed these funds, but a good deal of NuLeaf’s work, like mentorship, business skills development, and further financial assistance is driven by support from our company partners,” says Ward Horton.
The City of Portland is the first U.S. municipality to invest tax revenue from the legalized cannabis industry into the communities most negatively impacted by cannabis criminalization. Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “The NuLeaf Project will assist between 10 and 20 businesses with services like accounting and tax advice, one-on-one business development, and training workshops. This aligns well with our mission to create economic growth and opportunity for Portland.”
Ward Horton says, “The U.S. cannabis industry is projected to be worth $25 billion by 2020. Oregon is over a $600 million market alone. We can’t wait to fund and educate exceptional Portland businesses so they can earn a piece of this market. Economic justice in the cannabis industry means people of color also build wealth from the legalization of this plant.”