Although no social equity program has been set up by the city’s nascent cannabis industry, at least one dispensary is taking action.

Pasadena cannabis retailer Essence and parent company Green Thumb have donated $50,000 to the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The money was given with specific uses predetermined.  

“Essence has a strong commitment to equity and offsetting impacts of previous law enforcement policies that may have more severely impacted minority communities,” said Dina Rollman, Essence senior vice president of government affairs. 

“This donation to the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation will help emancipated foster youth succeed in college and provide a new level of support for minority- and women-owned small businesses through the Chamber of Commerce,” Rollman said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“We are very grateful Essence and Green Thumb chose the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation for their generous support,” said Foundation Executive Director Paul Little. Little is also president and CEO of the local chamber.

According to the statement, $5,000 of the donation will be devoted to scholarships for emancipated foster youth who are matriculating from community college to four-year colleges or universities. 

Another $3,500 is intended to support financial literacy programs for local public

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