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Sacramento's newest marijuana dispensary first to be backed by city-sponsored program

New marijuana dispensary in Sacramento backed by city-sponsored program
New marijuana dispensary in Sacramento backed by city-sponsored program 01:42

SACRAMENTO — Monday was the opening night for a new marijuana dispensary in Sacramento, and this store is getting off the ground with help from a city-sponsored program.

The program provides training to people who have been arrested or negatively impacted by the war on drugs.

Rob Jackson and Lauren Carpenter are the owners Embarc, Sacramento's newest cannabis store.

The dispensary is the first to open under Sacramento's cannabis equity program known as Core.

"This storefront wouldn't exist, but for the Core program," Carpenter said.

City leaders created the program five years ago to offer training, loans, and fee waivers to people who live in neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by past cannabis criminalization.

"The goal of that program was to recognize the impacts of the failed war on drugs on low-income communities and communities of color," Carpenter said.

Jackson said drug enforcement laws hurt several of his family members.

"People went to jail," he said.

The city allows a maximum of 40 marijuana store licenses, and ten are reserved for Core program participants.

"It's just beyond rewarding," Jackson said.

The new business is located on Mack Road in South Sacramento and the owners say all 20 employees are from the neighborhood.

"Everyone that works here lives within seven miles, and I'm proud of that," Jackson said.

Daniel Scott is one of the store's first customers.

"It's ran by someone who grew up in the community and is out here helping the community with issues," he said. "It's nice to know that."

It's a program designed to provide new opportunities that is now proving successful.

"We had a goal and we got it accomplished," Jackson said.

Cannabis taxes and fees currently generate about $20 million a year in the city of Sacramento.

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