Grant said she’s been in talks to raise capital for her delivery service, but lots of investors want to take control of her company and just use her to gain access to Oakland’s market. Although she has her own business plans, the people who have capital won’t invest and trust her to grow her own business. “The hardest part is finding investors who want to invest in you, not their program,” she said.
Because of ongoing barriers like these, she predicts a lot of cannabis entrepreneurs in Oakland’s low-income communities will remain in or go back to the underground economy. Despite the city’s efforts with the equity program, there still isn’t really a viable path to becoming legal for a lot of cannabis dealers. A lot of this underground activity that will continue to thrive in Oakland involves African Americans and Latinos selling and delivering small quantities of cannabis on the streets.