September 28, 2016 | G Takagawa
A few months ago, the East Bay Cannabis Community First Friday events launched a new initiative to share the love for our community.
Each month, we showcase three groups:
1. A local charity from outside the cannabis space. This allows us to broaden our outreach efforts and demonstrate to everyone that our cannabis community cares.
2. A cannabis advocate. We have many passion projects, and many ways of fighting against prohibition and its countless negative impacts. Creating this space allows us all to broaden our contribution.
3. A local cannabis industry member. This allows us to learn more about the innovative business models and individuals who are changing lives through their approach to cannabis.
Terryn Buxton was one of the individuals we highlighted through this initiative, and I am thrilled that he agreed to allow me to share some of his story in this second forum.
Terryn Buxton speaks at the First Friday Cannabis Social in August 2016
Terryn is an Oakland native, born and raised. That one fact infuses all of his contributions because he deeply cares not only about access to cannabis, but also about how the rollout of regulations impacts his community.
As a member of Oakland’s community, Terryn became involved in the conversations at City Hall about Measure Z clubs. He spoke passionately, and ultimately was appointed to what is now the Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
“Once I realized that your voice could be heard, I became involved to ensure that cannabis regulations supported Oakland as a community – that community interests took priority over business. The cannabis industry has all these well-meaning folks, but they’re not from here. As an Oakland native, I am invested in what is happening on the streets.”
With Oakland’s adoption of Desley Brooks’ equity provision and the creation of the new Equity Permit Program for Oakland cannabis business permits, Terryn joined an emboldened community to help create OAKDECC, the Oakland Diversity and Equity Cannabis Coalition.
The group formed in part as a response to Council Member Brooks’ challenge that the cannabis community and regulators have not pushed enough to ensure equitable access for victims of the drug war who want to join the industry. It held its first membership meeting on September 22, and is poised to make a major impact in blazing the trail for Oakland residents to step up as entrepreneurs, employees, and participants in the growing Oakland cannabis industry.
Terryn also works with businesses in the cannabis industry directly. He’s been involved with Oakland Extracts, a local concentrates company that works with local small farmers. He also helped Ryan Miller, a former Marine, to launch Operation Evac. This organization (pending 501(c)(19) status) offers support groups for veterans in the Bay Area, along with facilitating veterans to become self-sufficient through roles in the cannabis industry.
Internally at GRC this month, we have been talking about how #CannabisIsCommitment. Committing to the values that have shaped cannabis advocacy. Committing to the community you are in, and showing up in political forums to represent the cannabis industry. Committing to creating a cannabis industry that best serves patients and entrepreneurs.
Terryn showcases the #CannabisIsCommitment approach to this industry and our East Bay community.