“Azuca’s new social equity program aims to create a level playing field in cannabis and support deserving entrepreneurs in their innovation efforts,” said Azuca CEO Kim Sanchez Rael. “We recognize the challenges faced by social equity and new micro license holders. We’re committed to providing the tools they need to survive and thrive. We couldn’t have found a better partner in Matha.”
Azuca, which means sugar in Spanish, is an ancillary company that creates advanced formulations for cannabis products.
“By focusing on social equity, the cannabis industry can pave the way for a more diverse and prosperous future. Where all entrepreneurs have a viable chance at success,” she added.
“Partnering with Azuca has allowed us to bring our vision to life. Not only have I received valuable support and mentorship. But I had the opportunity to bring new and truly special products to market,” said Figaro, the CEO of ButACake/CannPowerment. “The journey from (underground) legacy to legal hasn’t been easy. I’m grateful to collaborate with the female-led team at Azuca, who share similar values and vision to make cannabis edibles accessible and approachable.”
ButACake as the Social Equity Fellow of Azuca
In addition to accessible ingredients and formulations via Azuca’s unique social equity pricing model, the fellowship allows for mentorship via Azuca’s CEO and co-founder Kim Rael, and Senior Vice President of Growth, Corinne Butler, along with the rest of the Azuca innovation team.
As part of the fellowship, Azuca has worked with Figaro and her team to ensure a competitive edge in the market through ingredient and formulation support and advisory access to scale her business and boost sales.
The benefits of being an Azuca Social Equity fellow include receiving unique ingredient and formulation support, senior-level or C-suite advice, and a possible advantage to scale their businesses and boost sales. These businesses will also have access to Azuca’s Social Equity pricing model
The partnership is set to evolve with CannPowerment. It could enable ButACake to collaborate with cannabis manufacturers nationwide.
The program is supposed to be designed for social equity entrepreneurs, micro license holders, and minority and women-owned businesses.
Figaro will be their only fellow for 2024.
Azuca said they had been seeking the perfect partner to launch their social equity program.
With Figaro as the CEO, CannPowerment was the first minority, women-owned, underground legacy to legal cannabis edibles manufacturer in New Jersey. She launched the company with her childhood friend James Barrett pictured above right. They both signed the cannabis industry letter in support of legalizing home grow.
Earlier, with the help of Azuca and Columbia Care, ButACake entered the Delaware medical cannabis market. ButACake created a Hibiscus Elixir, utilizing Azuca’s RTD ACTiVATOR® (“Ready to Drink”)” which is designed for cannabis beverages to market there.
By entering the legal New Jersey market last year, the company became a baby cannabis corporation that is a Multi-State Operator (MSO).
Ginger peach-flavored oral dissolvable strips are the first in a series of products available at independent New Jersey cannabis dispensaries.
Launching a Legal Cannabis Business
Legal cannabis is a very difficult industry to enter. A company must be fairly large at the beginning to open.
A lot of other businesses can be launched from home where one can sell goods or services over the internet or peddle them around town like a hot dog cart or at a flea market. As time goes on, perhaps they can grow the business to include a physical storefront or even more than one. It’s a good experience for an entrepreneur with little experience, capital, or connections.
However, in the legal cannabis industry, one needs a lot more money to start up and apply for a license and then to open.
In stark contrast, launching a business in the underground legacy industry does not require much money. It’s more like the home business or hot dog stand model.