N.J. Cannabis Project, an incubator for social equity entrepreneurs, launches

The New Jersey Cannabis Project, a business incubator that aims to provide social equity entrepreneurs with the skills, knowledge and resources needed to succeed and become leaders in the emerging state market, was launched Tuesday by Lantern.

The project, the fourth of its kind launched by Boston-based Lantern, is divided into two parts, each with seven sessions.

The company said the sessions are led by industry experts, tailored to the pre- and post-license process, and open to social equity applicants pursuing microbusiness, retail, distribution and delivery licenses.

Once accepted into the program, aspiring entrepreneurs and operators will have access to educational programming, technical services and application assistance, mentorship, operational consulting and a resource database for real estate opportunities and to connect with potential investors and equipment vendors.

Lantern, which calls itself the leading on-demand cannabis e-commerce marketplace and home delivery platform in the country, previously has launched incubators in Boston, Colorado and Detroit. Lantern itself was incubated out of Drizly, the largest online marketplace and delivery service for alcohol in North America.

“From the outset, Lantern’s mission has been to generate economic opportunities in the cannabis industry for communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs,” Akele Parnell, head of equity partnerships at Lantern, said.

“Anyone who digs beneath the surface knows there’s vast racial inequality in the cannabis industry. Black and brown people are still disproportionately arrested and incarcerated for cannabis possession, and it is integral to our corporate identity to create a path for individuals targeted by the drug war to build successful companies, create generational wealth and rebuild their communities from within.”