Los Angeles — Last week California cannabis tradeshow Hall of Flowers announced their “Hall of Flowers Equity Grant,” which offers to “cover the full cost of participation to (5) eligible brands to participate in our new virtual matchmaking platform, ENGAGE,” according the official online application. Applications are due on June 24th for the virtual event, which will take place on July 22.

After this year’s Hall of Flowers exhibition was cancelled due to coronavirus, the organizers of the popular California B2B showcase developed an alternative virtual called Engage.

Scheduled for July 22, 2020, Engage will match Retailers and Exhibitors in a virtual conference, so that approved Retailers attend eight 15-minute, one-on-one video meetings with Exhibitors.

According to the HoF official announcement, the “Equity Grant” is a step that the organizers are taking to address racial bias in the industry.

“We are excited to announce the Hall of Flowers Equity Grant as a first step to addressing the lack of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) represented brands at Hall of Flowers events. We know that there’s more work that needs to be done and we’re looking forward to getting it done with you,” the announcement said.

Five applicants will be chosen based on the requirements of the grant, which are that applicants “be a licensed cannabis business in the state of California; Already sold in stores and/or inventory on hand; Be at least 51% owned and controlled by someone who has been subjected to cultural bias or prejudice and placed at an economic disadvantage because of race or ethnicity.”

Hall of Flowers also used the announcement of the grant to draw attention to cannabis equity brands Osanyin, KGB Reserve, and NUG. They highlighted dispensaries impacted by recent looting during the George Floyd protests including Blum, Moe Greens, LA Kush EP, and California State Cannabis Company. HoF also highlighted CannaClusive’s InclusiveBase, a database to track Black-owned cannabis businesses.

Hall of Flowers has quickly become a premier Business-to-Business (B2B) tradeshow for the California cannabis industry. Launched in 2018 by Dani Diamantstein and Aaron Levant in collaboration with Green Street, Hall of Flowers is known for combining art, marketing, culture, and cannabis.