Chicago’s Cognitive Harmony Technologies is seeking to help potential cannabis business owners in the Garden State.
On Sept. 19, CHT said it plans to sponsor 35 prospective cannabis business license applicants from underrepresented communities in New Jersey in an effort to make the industry more accessible to small operators and communities affected by the war on drugs.
The move is part of the company’s Accelerator Sponsorship Program. CHT will provide each selected participant access to its CHT Accelerator software and services, in addition to enrollment in an eight-week cohort. The company values the development and consultation package at $30,000 and says its resources are worth $1 million.
“CHT was created to empower applicants who are typically discounted from the complex and convoluted business licensing process due to their lack of resources, investment capital or ability to afford a hundred-thousand-dollar consulting firm,” said CHT co-Founder and CEO Walter Moore, a software engineer who is also co-founder of cannabis social equity incubator Perception Farms. “We want small business owners, scrappy startups and equity applicants who are passionate about the cannabis industry to thrive and avoid potential roadblocks, including a lack of capital. We’re excited to help our sponsored applicants pave their path of success, and open the door for a more equitable cannabis industry in New Jersey and beyond.”
To be considered for the sponsorship, CHT says applicants must be starting a retail cannabis dispensary in the Garden State and share its “values of cannabis culture, the entrepreneurial spirit, and accessibility for all.”
Selected applicants will receive benefits including:
- The proprietary CHT Accelerator: the tool offers a master checklist and automates redundant processes, enabling applicants to avoid common mistakes like missing materials
- CHT’s full network of referrals, including ancillary businesses across the supply chain
- End-to-end application development and project management
- Consulting throughout the application process
“The CHT team has been in your shoes, walking this path ourselves, from license applicant to retail, cultivation, and manufacturing operations,” said Chief Business Development Officer and CFO Charles Cherqui. The physicist co-founded CHT with Moore after running into his own obstacles applying for a cannabis business license. “We want to share what we’ve learned and make the industry more accessible to passionate small business owners and up-and-coming entrepreneurs so the market isn’t saturated with large corporations and MSOs.”
CHT is not alone in its efforts to help build out an equitable cannabis industry in the state: The Minority Cannabis Academy hosted its first cohort of 25 students this summer. MCA also offers an eight-week experience. The free, hands-on course aims to help students gain employment in the cannabis industry.
CHT’s stated mission is to create $1 billion in wealth for underrepresented communities through cannabis business ownership.
Submissions are open now for the Accelerator Sponsorship Program. Selected applicants will be announced Dec. 1, 2022.