Eaze Announces the Winners of its Second-Annual Momentum Program

Eaze, California’s largest marketplace for legal cannabis, today announced the winners of its second-annual Momentum program, a business accelerator that cultivates the growth and success of underrepresented cannabis business founders.

Of 250 applicants, ten businesses have been selected for the 2021 cohort, including New York native, James “Jim” Charon. Growing up on the streets of Brooklyn he developed a passion for cannabis in his early teens and that passion still continues. After Jim and his wife, Stacey, became frustrated patients of New York’s limited medical marijuana program, he started researching for other cannabis alternatives. This led to the growing CBD industry and the creation of Syracuse Hemporium in 2018. He has since obtained his certification in New York to work in a dispensary and a CBD Adviser certification from CBD Training Academy.

Winning companies each receive a $50,000 grant, a 12-week business development program led by industry experts, and access to Eaze’s business, marketing, legal, and PR resources. After the 12-week program, participants will pitch their businesses to industry-defining investors for the opportunity to raise additional funds.

Eaze is honored to support underrepresented entrepreneurs as they forge their own path. Consumers want products made by BIPOC-owned companies, but there are so many barriers to entry into the legal market. Momentum is helping level the playing field, because we want to see these companies become sustainable and profitable.

Eaze’s State of Cannabis report found that in 2020, 9.5% of all customers bought Social Equity brands, accounting for over $2.6 million in sales.

The Momentum program, in its second year, received more than 250 applications from founders across 23 states and U.S. territories. Finalists were selected by Momentum’s Advisory Committee based on a combination of potential for success, lived experience, and current barriers to market entry.

Check out this video clip to meet the Momentum class, which includes:

Whitney Beatty: Josephine and Billies (Los Angeles, CA)

Leo Bridgewater: BridgeH2o (Trenton, NJ)

James Charon: Syracuse Hemporium (Syracuse, NY)

Jesse Grundy: The Peakz Co (Oakland, CA)

Tre Hobbs: Neighborhood Essentials (Detroit, MI)

Kika Keith-Sturgis: Gorilla Rx (Los Angeles, CA)

Gidai Maaza and Cesar Casamayor: The People’s Dispensary (Fresno, CA)

Dorian Morris: Undefined Beauty (Los Angeles, CA)

Nina Parks: Gift of Doja (San Francisco, CA)

Andre Scott and Mark Mabutas: La Flor (Sacramento, CA)