Latino Entrepreneurs

Black Cannabis Access [Video]

Black Cannabis Access


Mitzi Ruddock was born and raised in the city of Detroit. Her passion for seeing Detroit based businesses, families and individuals flourish in her hometown is evident in every endeavor she has undertaken for the past twenty years. In 1995, she lost her father, a successful Detroit business owner, to cancer at the age of 43. Little did she know this unexpected and tragic loss would fuel her interest in the healing properties of cannabis. Mitzi went on to complete her undergraduate degree in Graphic Design at Eastern Michigan University, but she shared the same entrepreneurial spirit she inherited from her father. Unfortunately, the housing crisis made it difficult for her to sustain her real estate business. She learned the struggles of being a self-made black businesswoman but rather than give in when things got difficult, she opted to stay the course and continued to utilize her keen business acumen and a network of entrepreneurs to continue investing in her community.
Her engagement with businessmen and businesswomen in the community fueled a second passion for cannabis—both the opportunity to educate and inform community members about its healing power/benefits and the potential business opportunities. Mitzi saw a void in sharing the truth about cannabis and demystifying stereotypes. As the cannabis industry began to evolve in 2008, she started growing cannabis. Growing cannabis opened her eyes to an appreciation for master cultivators and the need for mentorship and/ or networking. She launched a mature networking event called Buds, Corks & Forks. Buds, Corks & Forks’ (BCF) mission is to provide a safe, mature atmosphere for those seeking information or seeking to share experiences and love for the plant.
In 2014, Mitzi saw an industry emerging and knew it was a MUST for Detroiters to have a big stake in the cannabis industry. This work allowed Mitzi to provide education and resources to city leadership, those in opposition, seniors, business owners, patients, caregivers, etc. Mitzi is in the trenches ensuring Detroiter’s receive at least 50% of the Detroit Cannabis industry. She is assisting in the fight for Detroit’s at least 50% equity, eliminating barriers to entry, and creating a pathway to successful and sustainable cannabis business. She is accomplishing this huge task through Black Cannabis Access and Pathway 2 Legal, serving on the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Advisor, conducting community meetings, serving as a panelist and podcast guest whenever and wherever, continuing to tap into personal resources and leading by example. She also recently served as chair of two of five workgroup committees to develop a sustainable social equity program and Adult-use ordinance to the city of Detroit. Knowledge IS power, realizing urban communities suffer from lack of access to knowledge and resources, Mitzi founded Black Cannabis Access (BCA), Pathway 2 Legal (P2L), Detroit Cannabis Access and yeWE (ya’ll eat WE EAT) a super PAC. Early 2019, BCA began bridging the gaps between the State’s social equity program and the citizens of Detroit by educating and providing outreach throughout Detroit’s communities. Black Cannabis Access has assisted well-over a hundred Detroit Legacy applicants acquire certifications and obtain fee reductions through Michigan’s Social Equity Plan (SEP). Additionally, BCA has provided direct assistance to help these same applicants advance through the State’s application process for the pre- qualification status and prepare them for Detroit’s Adult-Use application process.
BCA’s commitment to equity is demonstrated by meeting the community where they are and providing access to opportunities, access to resources, and access to support systems. Through her experience as a grower, delivery service provider, advocate and promoter, Mitzi is committed to empowering and

engaging as many black and brown people in this cannabis movement as she can reach. Thus, her 2022 priority is creating 100 Black and brown cannabis owner/ operators.

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Latino Entrepreneurs

Building Back America Through Hispanic Businesses Luncheon [Video]

The USHCC is proud to represent the interests of more than five million Hispanic-owned businesses who contribute $800 billion annually to the American economy. Today, the U.S. Latino community is 63.5 million strong and together we are responsible for $2.8 trillion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), one million Latinos/as turned 18 and were eligible to vote in 2020. This growth is expected to remain the same over the next two decades. This plenary will bring in experts to discuss the critical role that policy and legislation play as our community sees vast growth. Furthermore, we will hear from corporations on how our Hispanic consumer power will redefine supply chains, customer service, board room equality, contracting opportunities, and innovative technologies to maximize impact for our community.