The militarized law enforcement of the Drug War has wreaked havoc on countless communities across the United States, and its impact has been especially devastating in low-income, majority-Black neighborhoods. As cannabis becomes a multi-billion dollar industry, one Oakland-based pre-seed accelerator is working to make sure the communities that bore the burden of the hard times don’t get left out of the good ones.
Leo Corley is a farmer actively working towards transforming the industrial landscape of East Oakland: the dream is a community garden and collective gathering space, and to fully achieve this dream, Corley’s taking a bet on cannabis by establishing a unique delivery service and dispensary that would offer both ganja and groceries.
As a fellow in the Hood Incubator, Corley is learning the skills to succeed within an industry that, in California alone, saw $2.7 billion in sales for 2015. Corley’s also organizing a network that will help him navigate an industry still struggling to live up to the Golden State’s reputation for racial diversity.