by Etienne Fontan, Owner, Berkeley Patients Group, Founding Board Member, NCIA
Despite having been marginalized and underrepresented in the political process for as long as prohibition has been policy, cannabis consumers are quickly emerging as an incredibly diverse and effective voting bloc in American politics. The impact of the cannabis consumer vote on state and local elections is palpable in these unprecedented times. As a beneficiary of this constituency base, we as an industry need to appreciate not just what elections have done to enable our businesses to exist today, but, critically how by lifting the voices of our patrons we are ensuring our own sustainability tomorrow. In fact, the backbone of the cannabis industry is our consumer base. Without consumers, there would be no local reform and, in most cases, no legal state market.
Today, we have hundreds of licensed retails stores across the country, and our industry is finally in a place where we can mobilize our customers nationally for the 2020 election. As retailers, it is now absolutely essential that we ensure cannabis consumers are effectively engaged, which is why we, at Berkeley Patients Group, are proud to join the Spark the Vote Retail Partnership Program. We are calling on every retailer out there to join us.
Spark The Vote‘s Retail Partnership Program is a COVID-safe, cannabis consumer voter registration and mobilization drive. The goal is to leverage the growing number of public-facing cannabis retail networks, and allied businesses to promote the effort through in-store and online customer engagement. The campaign is bringing together hundreds of socially responsible operators from across the country that are committed to supporting public participation in the electoral process. This is an excellent opportunity for our industry to stand out as good corporate citizens by lifting the voices of the communities we serve, and by empowering our employees to support positive social change.
There is no fee to participate as an official retail partner, and his campaign was designed specifically to minimize any staff or operational disruption. The only requirement is to promote get out the vote by displaying a QR code sign (graphic is provided) in a high-traffic, high-visibility location in the store, and highlight content on social media when necessary (language templates are provided). The sign acts as a COVID-safe, contactless voter registration station where a customer can use their phone to scan the code and quickly find out about their registration status, early voting, and other resources on how to participate and promote the democratic process.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”
For more information on Spark the Vote, how your organization can participate in the Retailer Partnership Program, or other partnership opportunities, please contact [email protected] or go to www.sparkthevote.org.
[Sabrina Fendrick, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Berkeley Patients Group; Spark the Vote Advisory Board Member, contributed to this post.]