Letter to the Editor: Holding Big Cannabis Accountable in Concord

CONCORD, CA (July 18, 2023) — With four cannabis dispensaries opening in 2022-2023, how will Concord hold Big Cannabis accountable?

Dispensaries were required to submit robust proposals, which included their intended ‘Community Benefits’ – proposed donations amounting to 1% of gross receipts to local organizations. Alarmingly, instead of spending what little funds these Community Benefits offer on prevention, most of the funds will support general city services and high-profile community organizations, which make for easy branding opportunities.

Culture Club, for example, says they intend to support the Diablo Futbol Club, a youth soccer league, and a youth baseball team, the West Coast Kings. When the cannabis industry is publicly funding youth sports, something’s not right.

I request that Concord City Council ensure new cannabis retailers provide more silent funding for youth drug prevention education programs. Without funding robust outreach and education to inform youth about cannabis – particularly its effects on the developing brain – how can we allow these dispensaries into our Concord neighborhoods?

Nardos Darkera
Concord, CA

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Related story: Coastal expects to open Concord’s first cannabis storefront in August (Feb. 2022)