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Recipients to Be Awarded with a Minimum of a $50K Investment,
Mentorship, Access to Influencers and Other Resources Provided by Merida
and MCBA

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#cannabis–The Minority
Cannabis Business Association
(MCBA) and Merida
Capital Partners (Merida)
announced the launch of the Inclusive
Industry (“i2”) Accelerator
, a program designed to:
fast-track the development of minority-owned businesses in the
burgeoning cannabis industry by creating meaningful executive mentorship
for minorities; increase diversity and inclusiveness in key networks
within the cannabis ecosystem; and develop an infrastructure to assist
entrepreneurs without access to traditional financial support.

“The MCBA mission is geared directly to advancing the strategic business
partnerships and programs that provide actual entry into the cannabis
industry for more than 2.5 million minorities, who have borne the
economic, physical and mental brunt of the War on Drugs,” said MCBA
President Shanita Penny
. “We are excited to launch our partnership
with Merida and look forward to working with their team and others as we
continue to explore ways to ensure the most inclusive cannabis industry
possible.”

“Our goal is to empower minority entrepreneurs with tools, resources and
the relationships necessary to grow their business in a highly
competitive industry that requires it,” said Merida
Capital Partners Managing Partner Mitch Baruchowitz
. “We will help
open up new doors and support i2 capital recipients’ business by working
closely with MCBA to help place the candidate in the strongest possible
position to scale their enterprise.”

During the three-month program i2 recipients will experience:

  • access to MCBA-Merida executives, connections and networking
    opportunities;
  • consistent, in-person, high-level mentorship and training from experts
    in and outside of the cannabis industry;
  • a minimum investment of $50,000 from Merida;
  • designated working space located in Merida’s New York City office;
  • unmatched visibility into disruptive trends, proprietary research,
    data and tools;
  • exposure to Merida’s broad team of leaders, portfolio companies and
    advisors; and
  • advice on managing growth, team development, investor relations,
    governance and strategic planning.

“We leveraged our hands-on experience developing powerful social equity
programs that begin to address the harm America’s prohibitionist
policies cause disenfranchised communities to create i2,” said EntreVation
Co-Founder Todd
Hughes
, who is helping spearhead MCBA’s i2 efforts. “Together with
MCBA and Merida, we applied lessons learned on the frontlines to create
a program for minority entrepreneurs that provides tools, mentorship and
access to capital needed to make their vision a reality.”

Merida and MCBA are seeking underrepresented entrepreneurs with
operational startups in the cannabis industry, who are looking to grow
their existing business. Applicants should be driven, dedicated and able
to work out of Merida’s NYC headquarters for a minimum of seven days per
month for three months. Businesses, particularly those focused on
ancillary verticals, healthcare and wellness and minority-focused
services and products are encouraged to apply. i2
will be accepting applications
from June 15 to July 15, 2019.
Selected i2 applicants will be notified by August 15, 2019. For more
information, please visit: www.i2accelerator.com.

About Minority Cannabis Business Association

The Minority Cannabis Business Association is the first non profit
business league created specifically to strengthen the cannabis industry
by increasing diversity. The MCBA’s mission is to create equal access
and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses and their patients &
consumers, by designing policy considerations, social programming and
outreach initiatives to achieve equity for the communities most affected
by the war on drugs. For more information visit: www.MinorityCannabis.org.

About Merida Capital Partners

Merida Capital Partners is a private equity firm targeting fundamental
growth drivers which accelerate the rapid development of the cannabis
and hemp industries. Merida’s motto, Responsible Investing across the
Cannabis Ecosystem,
highlights its focus on cultivation
technologies, products and services associated with the evolution of
cannabis and hemp as agricultural products, plant-based medicines,
constituents in pharmaceutical formulations and recreational consumer
products. For more information, visit www.meridacap.com
or follow us on Twitter @meridacap.

Contacts

Media Contact
Ellen Mellody
ellen@powerplantstrategies.com
570-209-2947