This article was originally written by the author and published in Vegas Cannabis Magazine
Credit: MCBA Equity Tour
In October 2023, the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), hit the road on a journey to and through: the Midwest, the East Coast, and the South, to empower social equity applicants and operators in the cannabis industry. The Equity Workshop Tour founded and organized by Mike Lomuto, took passion, education, and empowerment on 9 city tour with an agenda focused on fostering: diversity, equity, and inclusion in cannabis.
With the support of speakers that included: State Representatives, Board Members, Founders, Owners, Attorneys, Accountants, and more; and tour partners, sponsors, and collaborators; the tour held mini workshops in:
- Chicago, IL
- Minneapolis, MN
- Detroit, MI
- New York City, NY
- Jersey City, NJ
- Trenton, NJ
- Baltimore, MD
- Atlanta, GA
- Saint Louis, MO
Through roundtable discussions, group discussions, listening sessions, and networking, attendees got firsthand insight and access to industry leaders, intent on delivering tangible takeaways. The conversations are ones that need to be had with industry leaders offering insight and information on:
- Abundance Mindset
- Building movements, not just businesses
- Teams and funding
- Fair free enterprise
- Micro work for macro impact
- Accounting and Taxes
- Navigating Challenges
I am following the tour virtually and have been nothing less than inspired and amazed by the speakers, the discussion, and the information shared. I sat down with Mike after stops in: Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit. I wanted readers to hear directly from him on this amazing tour he put together.
A Sit Down with Mike Lomuto, Founder of the Equity Workshop Tour
Credit: Mike Lumoto
How did you land the position of lead and organizer of the tour?
I founded the tour, alongside several amazing collaborators over the years who entrust me with the role.
Nine cities in one month in the name of minorities in cannabis, why is this important to you and what’s the goal of the equity tour?
The goal of the tour is to do our part to further develop the ecosystem of leaders around the country. An equitable industry is at the forefront of who we are and what we do. Each of these cities/states has something unique to contribute toward the cannabis ecosystem nationally, and because we were able to gain enough traction in each place, we decided to roll out an ambitious game plan that allowed us to strike a sustainable balance with an ambitiousness that aligns with everyone who has thrown their hat into this industry.
Is this a workshop tour that’s going on the road annually?
We actually intend to do small tours throughout the year, and potentially a couple larger, regional events as well. We’re tentatively thinking of the West Coast in January, Southwest in March, and back to the Midwest and East Coast in May and/or June.
How can people get involved with the tour be it speaking, sponsoring, helping organize?
As I write this, the tour’s next stops are: New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Georgia, and Missouri. I asked Mike for final words and just like opening remarks at each location, introductions of speakers/panelists, and closing remarks; Mike said: “thank you to our partners, sponsors, and everyone that has been a part of the tour”.
It takes a village, including the village that supported my media coverage: Greencore Speciality Insurance; an independent cannabis insurance agency offering a wide range of insurance policies for every type of canna-business, and HotelPlanner; a hotel deals booking service specializing in negotiated group hotel rates, extended stays, and corporate meeting planning for reservations at hotels.
For information about the tour, check out the MBCA website: https://minoritycannabis.org/equitytour/.
Veronica Castillo is known as the Traveling Cannabis Writer. Her body of work includes educational and informative insights on cannabis and various plant medicines, and she travels the country and abroad to provide insight on cannabis friendly travel. She is a collaborator, connector, content creator, and traveler that specialized in bringing to light the hidden gems in the plant space. Follow her journey and learn about becoming a traveling writer: www.veetravelingvegcannawriter.com