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Department of Race and Equity

Community Engagement

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The Department of Race and Equity partners with other City departments to cultivate intentional and inclusive public engagement opportunities with residents and surrounding community members. This includes the Cannabis Social Equity and Economic Development Program, the Inclusive Public Engagement Guide as well as working with several boards, commissions, and working groups that engage individual and community-based organization leaders across the City of San Diego.

Cannabis Social Equity and Economic Development (SEED) Program

The Department of Race and Equity in partnership with the Development Services Department has initiated a program to cultivate opportunities in the local cannabis industry to enhance legal cannabis business ownership and employment that addresses the long-term negative social/economic impacts associated with the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis policies.

As stated in the City of San Diego Cannabis Equity Report, the SEED program will focus on inclusion and support of individuals and communities negatively impacted by cannabis criminalization. The primary purpose of the program will be to:

  • Provide a path to clearing criminal records for the different communities of color impacted by discriminatory enforcement of drug laws, which include racial/ethnic disparities that are more pronounced for African American/Black and Latinx people;
  • Prioritize cannabis permits to address racial/ethnic disparities for individuals who have been previously arrested or convicted for cannabis related offenses;
  • Foster equitable access to participation in the cannabis industry, including by promoting ownership and stable employment opportunities in the industry;
  • Provide training and education to residents who are seeking to understand systemic racism to create opportunities to produce more equitable outcomes and remove racial/ethnic disparities.