Solidarity Cannabis Seed Initiative is a democratically controlled seed library and cannabis nursery headquartered in Oakland, California.
A multi-generational, community supported democratic institution is the best vehicle to preserve public ownership of heirloom and landrace cannabis strains instead of standard for profit entities who may try to patent these unique cultural resources. We are committed to our mission of preserving and sharing heirloom and landrace cannabis seeds, and running a business in the service of both our workers and our community, not quarterly profits. We don't want to be beholden to the short term thinking and growth at any cost model required for typical venture capital and private equity investment in for profit companies. A cooperative model allows for a longterm commitment to sustainable practices and dignified living wages because it is governed by the worker-owners, who are community members that share the direct benefits and desire to minimize the negative effects of its business practices, not faraway shareholders.
We are not aware of any other multi-stakeholder worker-owned cannabis businesses to use as a model, so to be honest, we are trying to figure out how all of this will work ourselves right now. If you have advice or suggestions for us, please contact us and let us know. Worker-owned cooperatives are a very new type of statutory entity in California, and local permitting and statewide regulations for medical cannabis production are in a state of flux. We really appreciate your help.
Links for discussion:
"The biggest threats to the cannabis industry as we know it are Big Pharma and Big Tobacco. The cannabis movement was built on the back of social justice and compassionate healthcare that came out of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and '90s. The budding cannabis industry can’t lose sight of this as it transitions from activism to industry." -Windy Borman, Director of Mary Janes: The Women of Weed
"Right now, we really need to be looking and concerning ourselves with, not just should we legalize marijuana, which we obviously should, but how are we going to do it? And how are we going to do it in a way that works for cultural workers, and consumers, and medical patients? My idea is that, essentially, cannabis should transform capitalism, not the other way around. We should be bringing the values of authentic cannabis culture with us as we move out of Prohibition, and not allow this industry, and more importantly our movement, to be co-opted and overrun by the values of Wall Street and Corporate America…" -David Bienenstock, Head of Content at High Times
"Finance is Ruining America." -The Atlantic, Sept. 23, 2016
"As the proverbial tip-of-the-iceberg Wells Fargo scam suggests, the existing system of finance capitalism needs to be taken down to the ground for social reconciliation to be possible." -CounterPunch, Sept. 23, 2016
"Every individual has to have the right to grow their own medicine, just like they have to have the right to grow their own food." -Swami Chaitayna, long time cannabis cultivator in an interview titled "California, Cannabis, & Capitalism"
"Medical marijuana patients can legally grow their own cannabis [lifting regulations that said patients could only get marijuana by purchasing it from licensed producers, thus making] medical marijuana unaffordable for low-income patients." -The Huffington Post, Feb. 24, 2016