The Business Corner: DACO conference offers diverse and minority participation in cannabis economy


Philadelphia is providing an opportunity for diverse and minority businesses to learn about and prepare to participate in the emerging cannabis economy.

State Sen. Sharif Street, 3rd District, has joined the Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO) to host an annual two-day conference on the emerging opportunities in the Cannabis Industry for marginalized communities.

The two-day event provides opportunities in education, wellness, social justice, policy, entrepreneurship, and workforce development for Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Marketplace and, eventually, recreational.

A diverse group of exhibitors and speakers converge to offer a variety of programming including a job fair, a legislative panel of past and pending cannabis reform, and opportunities for sealing and expunging records. Past speakers and participants include U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, U.S. Sen. John Fetterman and other leading policy experts.

As Pennsylvania prepares to pass adult use legislation legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, events of this kind will be critical to ensuring diversity at every level of the cannabis industry. It is critical to offer opportunities for wealth and prosperity to individuals who were negatively impacted by the criminal justice system. This conference will discuss the many exciting opportunities for small businesses, farmers, and other suppliers.

On Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23, the 2023 DACO conference will take place at Temple University’s Medical Education and Research Building, 3500 North Broad Street.

Highlights of the 2023 program include: Policy Panel reviewing pending adult use legislation in Pennsylvania; Rooted & Invested Pitch Contest; DACO 2023 RISE UP Award to highlight Black centering advocate(s), groups, and businesses working to transform the cannabis industry’s current norms; Elevated Expressions: An Art Encounter, the Homecoming Activation, a showcase of licensed cannabis suppliers of color; and Keynote Speaker,Gary Chambers Jr., a Baton Rouge native and dedicated advocate for social justice and community upliftment.

Those interested in attending can register for the 2023 DACO Cannabis Opportunities Conference online at

Teresa M. Lundy is the principal and founder of TML Communications, the award-winning strategic public relations, crisis communications, and community engagement firm serving corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Follow Teresa on Twitter @TeresaMLundy.