Where Are the Black Hemp Farmers?

Author: April Simpson               Published: April 1, 2019         Stateline

Hemp farmers

Clarenda Stanley-Anderson and her husband, Malcolm Anderson Sr., are hemp farmers in Liberty, North Carolina. Stanley-Anderson wants to expand the representation of hemp farmers, even if she’s far from the average industry insider.
Courtesy of Donnie Rex

Editor’s note: This story was corrected April 1. Due to a reporting error, an earlier version contained an incorrect spelling of Eric Steenstra’s name.

COLUMBIA, Md. — Clarenda Stanley-Anderson will be the featured farmer of Hemp History Week, an educational campaign in June focused on a newly legal crop that’s at the center of a risky, potentially billion-dollar industry.

Stanley-Anderson is considered a pioneer in the nascent hemp agricultural community, for educating others and encouraging young farmers to bring hemp back to the U.S. agrarian landscape, according to history week organizers.

It’ll be the first time that the Hemp Industries Association annual initiative, which boasts celebrity endorsements and events across the country, will feature a nonwhite farmer.

Stanley-Anderson wants to expand the representation of hemp farmers, even if she’s far from the average industry insider. Black farmers are a mere 1.4 percent of the country’s 3.2 million farmers, according to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture. In North Carolina, where Stanley-Anderson and her husband own Green Heffa Farms in the town of Liberty, black farm operators are nearly 3 percent of farmers.

While black farmers aren’t as visible, Stanley-Anderson is part of a developing community. As growers, processors and entrepreneurs, black professionals across the country are working to carve out a space in a trendy industry that’s projected to reach $1.9 billion in U.S. hemp-based product sales by 2022, according to the Hemp Business Journal, an online publication that tracks the industry.

Individuals and organizations are in the early stages of building networks of black farmers and processors to ensure black agriculture professionals get their share of hemp riches. But it’s hard for everyone to take on the risk.

Black farmers have long been discriminated against by lending institutions like the USDA. And with a limited population of growers, land, resources and sometimes access to the information networks that enable farmers to move quickly, they could be left behind again with hemp.

“Black farmers are becoming extinct,” said Lamar Wilson, founder of SunJoined, a nationwide network of hemp growers and processors with farmers in Kentucky, Kansas and Colorado. “This is an opportunity to bring them back and to actually provide a profitable resource, but also a resource that can be used for so many different things.”

Not everyone is optimistic hemp is the future for the small and under-resourced farmer, unless there are regulatory efforts to ensure they can be competitive.

“Most minority farms are on the verge of survival,” said Joe Trigg, a farmer and city council member in Glasgow, Kentucky, who’s running as a Democrat for state commissioner of agriculture. “The last thing they need is something else to drag them down.”

Stateline March18

STATELINE STORY 

African Americans Missing Out on Southern Push for Legal Pot

A Mixed Opportunity

Hemp has been touted by Democratic and Republican senators as a lifeline nationwide to farmers, many of whom are struggling under declining commodity prices. Farmers can harvest three types of hemp: fiber; grain or seed; or floral material extracted for plant resin, including cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD. Hemp’s uses span more than 25,000 products, including textiles, biofuel, ropes, cosmetics, food and beverages.

Agriculture professionals say the high-value crop can be particularly well-suited to black landowners, who typically have smaller farms and less overall sales than white farmers. Black farmland accounts for 0.4 percent of U.S. farmland, and sales account for 0.2 percent of total U.S. agriculture sales, according to the USDA. Hemp can be cultivated in tight spaces, especially when harvested for fiber and seed, which are planted in narrow rows.

“We’re just seeing black farmers emerge in the market,” said Bonita Money, founder of the Los Angeles-based National Diversity Inclusion and Cannabis Alliance, another group connecting hemp farmers of color.

Although hemp is legal, regulatory risks complicate the crop’s long-term outlook. Some states are positioning themselves to compete, but it’s unlikely the market can sustain hemp production in every state — unless there’s a significant increase in product demand, according to a February 2019 report from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky.

“Technology may dictate that production will ultimately be concentrated in relatively few states where hemp can be grown at the lowest cost of production and transported shorter distances for processing,” the report said.

Some states, including North Carolina and Kentucky, adopted hemp early and began growing it in research or pilot programs prior to Congress’ passage of the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp widely. Before December, when President Donald Trump signed the bill, federal law treated hemp as a quasi-controlled substance because of its relation to marijuana.

Neither Kentucky nor North Carolina tracks the race of growers or processors, according to spokespeople from the states’ departments of agriculture.

With federal legalization, many states are launching hemp pilot programs, transitioning from pilot to large-scale programs, while some are choosing to keep hemp farming illegal. Regardless, competition is increasing as growing hemp becomes more accessible.

Roscoe M. Moore, Jr., a former assistant U.S. surgeon general who attended a recent hemp workshop in Columbia, Maryland, thinks that as more money enters the hemp market, there will be few minorities involved. He pointed to the Maryland state law that called on regulators to reflect racial, ethnic and geographic diversity among those licensed to work in the medical marijuana industry. No black applicant was awarded a grower’s license, according to news reports, and there were no repercussions, Moore said.

“Business relationships are the gold standard for America,” said Moore, who advises several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. “Business is based on commerce. There’s not any excuse why we’re not involved, we just haven’t had the experience.”

But even when approached, black farmers sometimes decline the opportunity. Trigg, the Kentucky city council member, said a state official encouraged him to participate early in Kentucky’s pilot program. Trigg declined because of the crop’s association with marijuana and law enforcement oversight.

Even though marijuana and hemp are separate strains of cannabis, with hemp having a lower level of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — the main psychoactive component in the cannabis plant — farmers like Trigg worried about a stigma in being associated with the crop.

“There was still so much skepticism associated with it, and everyone was worried,” said Trigg, who plans to grow his first hemp plant this year. “You start growing marijuana on your farm and you’re black?”

Stateline Feb27

STATELINE STORY 

Farmers Hope for Hemp Riches Despite Risks

Limiting Restrictions

Stanley-Anderson, whose nickname is Farmer Cee, didn’t initially connect hemp to equity until she didn’t see herself reflected among decision makers. The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission, for example, whose nine members develop rules and licensing fee structures for the industry, is all male. Eight members are white. Two are from law enforcement. None are African American.

Members, who serve as volunteers, are appointed by the governor, commissioner of agriculture and General Assembly. Their selection criteria are written into state law.

“I agree. It’s all white. It’s all male. But that’s the way it was set up,” said commission Chairman Tom Melton, also deputy director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at North Carolina State University. “Maybe the law needs to change to indicate some sort of representation. That’s beyond the scope of our commission.”

Federal law requires applicants for hemp licenses to not have had a drug felony in the past 10 years. The advocacy groups Vote Hemp, Drug Policy Alliance and others were able to get that decreased from a lifetime ban, but were unsuccessful in getting removed, said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, in an email to Stateline.

“Our goal is to allow all farmers who want to grow hemp to do so with as limited restrictions as possible,” Steenstra wrote. Vote Hemp, based in Washington, D.C., is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that supports a free market for industrial hemp.

For some black farmers, the felony restriction on hemp is a lost opportunity. Blacks and Latinos are far more likely to have marijuana-related drug felonies, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

People coming out of prison desperately need jobs, said Ashley Smith, co-founder of Black Soil: Our Better Nature, an organization that supports black farmers, growers and producers in Kentucky. “There has to be some compromise where we can bring folks who are in need of jobs working land that is in need of labor,” Smith said. In Kentucky, hemp laborers are subject to background checks.

Some places are trying a system to offer some restitution for the disproportionate impact of drug enforcement on black communities. Some California cities, for example, have adopted cannabis equity programs that provide business development, loan assistance and mentorships for minority and low-income entrepreneurs. Oakland has permits set aside for people of color.

“No one is doing that with hemp,” said Stanley-Anderson, who grew up on a farm in Alabama.

Jackson Garth, national director for industrial hemp for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, an advocacy group based in Orlando, Florida, has been working to get equity goals or requirements written into hemp legislation in Georgia and South Carolina. While the measures never made it into legislation, he’s encouraged South Carolina has awarded licenses to farmers of color he’s worked with.

“We’re going to have to have set-asides for black and brown farmers, so farmers aren’t forgotten,” Garth said.

Garth’s group, known as M4MM, is in the early stages of setting up a co-op program for hemp. Garth, who’s also an executive of an industrial hemp processing company in Atlanta, is educating farmers on the crop and helping them get licenses.

“A lot of times,” Garth said, “it’s a lack of information that we’re receiving, and even when we get the information, it’s too late.”

At least two states — Illinois and California — have enacted a Farmer Equity Act in recent years to ensure socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers are included in food and agriculture laws. States with programs to support minority-owned businesses, new and beginning farmers and other targeted groups, could potentially apply to commercial industrial hemp producers unless there are restrictions in place to exclude hemp production, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Some critics argue that these programs can feel like a Band-Aid. “There’s a slew of people who fall under minority,” said Kentucky farmer Charles Jones, citing white women, veterans and other farmers of color. “So, they can say they’re doing this for minorities, but the black farmer still gets left out within this.”

Leveling the Playing Field

More than 100 people attended the recent daylong hemp informational event organized by Morgan State University, a historically black university in Baltimore, Maryland. A handful of the attendees were black. Among them, few were farmers. Instead, most were entrepreneurs or academics connected to Morgan State.

Willie May, vice president of research and economic development for Morgan State, touted its vision for an industrial hemp program, including education, applied and academic research and quality control services. The school plans to offer bachelor’s and master’s programs in medicinal plant science and a certificate program in hemp and cannabis.

Hemp is providing an opportunity for historically black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs, to tap into a convergence of interest among farmers, legislators and consumers.

In Maryland, a state hemp research program is open to most universities. Other states, like Florida and North Carolina, narrowed the field by approving their land-grant universities as their primary research institutions. (Morgan State is not a land-grant university.) Supporters say this is important because the land grants typically do not receive an equal share of state funding. Some states fail to honor a federal match for their HBCUs, while they exceed that match for predominantly white institutions, known as PWIs.

The 2018 farm bill requires states to report to Congress how much funding they’re providing their land-grant HBCUs and predominantly white institutions, in what’s considered a first step toward acknowledging the inequity.

“What we were doing with [the] Farm Bill and this research opportunity is helping to level the playing field between HBCUs and PWIs,” Florida U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat, said in a statement to Stateline.

Stanley-Anderson, who plans to plant three acres of hemp on her 16-acre farm, said the crop has prompted intergenerational conversations between older black farmers and younger entrepreneurs interested in the crop’s versatility.

“There’s an opportunity for resurgence,” Stanley-Anderson said.

STATELINE STORY 

No One’s Really Sure How to Regulate This Hemp Food Craze

Clean Energy Has Taken a Hit. Will It Rebound?

Author:  Alex Brown           Published: 5/19/2020           Stateline

Stateline May19

Gen Nashimoto of Luminalt installs solar panels in Hayward, California, late last month. The pandemic has devastated the clean energy workforce, including solar installers, but experts say renewables still have a bright future.Ben Margot/The Associated Press

Late in April, Warren Leon convened a meeting of leaders from around the country who are overseeing their states’ transitions to clean energy. He feared the group — 14 states plus the District of Columbia that have committed to 100% clean power goals — would have had its ambitions set back by the ongoing pandemic.

“I thought some states might say, ‘Everything’s on hold; we can’t really focus on that,’” said Leon, who directs the newly formed 100% Clean Energy Collaborative, a group of state officials sharing information and strategies about renewable and carbon-free electricity. “That didn’t happen. All the states were enthusiastically engaged on the issue and wanting to move forward as fast as possible.”

That optimism was a surprise, given the battering the clean energy industry has taken over the past two months. The pandemic has slashed state budgets, devastated the clean energy workforce and set back many projects. State restrictions have kept many workers at home, especially in fields such as solar installation and energy efficiency that can require home visits.

Some companies have struggled to finalize permits or investments for major projects, with uncertainty looming over both government and the private sector. There also are questions about how the pandemic may reshape the industry.

Energy usage patterns have shifted radically during lockdowns, and lingering changes such as telecommuting may require new strategies to meet altered demands. Meanwhile, disruptions to overseas supply chains have some observers wondering whether domestic manufacturing will need to scale up in the future.

But leaders from California to New York to Washington say the disruption is just a speed bump. In the states that have set firm clean energy targets, utilities, investors and developers have been preparing to meet the demand created by state mandates, and that work isn’t stopping.

“There’s no slowing down, and there’s no backing off,” said Doreen Harris, director of large-scale renewables at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. “If anything, the commitment has only been redoubled.”

Story continues after map

Still, the path ahead remains unclear, even if the destination isn’t. Some clean energy advocates are frustrated that the Trump administration is pushing to bail out oil companies, while ignoring pleas to help the renewable sector. Talks of future stimulus plans are politically fraught, and it’s unclear how long it will take for businesses and the workforce to get back to full strength as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted.

Better Days Ahead

The pandemic has created immense near-term challenges for the renewable energy industry, which had been growing at a rapid pace before the economy ground to a halt. In New York, Harris said, the clean energy industry was growing twice as fast as the economy as a whole.

In the past two months, the industry has lost nearly 600,000 jobs — a 17% employment loss — according to analysis conducted by BW Research. The firm projects that those numbers could soon reach 850,000, or a quarter of the sector’s workforce.

The largest clean energy sector, energy efficiency, has lost more than 400,000 jobs, as financial uncertainties and social distancing guidelines have stalled investments to retrofit buildings and homes. Residential solar installations have nosedived for similar reasons, and some larger projects have been put on hold because of permitting or financing delays.

Meanwhile, delays mean less renewable electricity will be added to the grid in 2020. Projections for new wind and solar capacity have dipped by 26%, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, which arrived at a much higher capacity number, still forecasts a 7% drop from earlier estimates.

Bloomberg’s revised projection — 17 gigawatts of new wind and solar — is “still a very credible, strong year,” according to Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy. And the fallout from the pandemic isn’t likely to be a long-term threat to the industry, or to states’ plans to clean up their grids, experts say.

“The demand is still there,” Wetstone said. “The fundamental underlying health of the renewable sector is very strong, and the pieces are in place to continue to drive growth when people can get out and work.”

Many state officials think investments in clean energy could play a huge part in the country’s economic recovery. They point to the 2009 stimulus package passed during the last recession, which provided $90 billion for the industry. That investment paved the way for the rapidly growing, increasingly affordable renewable energy being provided today, several state officials said.

Still, the path ahead remains unclear, even if the destination isn’t. Some clean energy advocates are frustrated that the Trump administration is pushing to bail out oil companies, while ignoring pleas to help the renewable sector. Talks of future stimulus plans are politically fraught, and it’s unclear how long it will take for businesses and the workforce to get back to full strength as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted.

Better Days Ahead

The pandemic has created immense near-term challenges for the renewable energy industry, which had been growing at a rapid pace before the economy ground to a halt. In New York, Harris said, the clean energy industry was growing twice as fast as the economy as a whole.

In the past two months, the industry has lost nearly 600,000 jobs — a 17% employment loss — according to analysis conducted by BW Research. The firm projects that those numbers could soon reach 850,000, or a quarter of the sector’s workforce.

The largest clean energy sector, energy efficiency, has lost more than 400,000 jobs, as financial uncertainties and social distancing guidelines have stalled investments to retrofit buildings and homes. Residential solar installations have nosedived for similar reasons, and some larger projects have been put on hold because of permitting or financing delays.

Meanwhile, delays mean less renewable electricity will be added to the grid in 2020. Projections for new wind and solar capacity have dipped by 26%, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, which arrived at a much higher capacity number, still forecasts a 7% drop from earlier estimates.

Bloomberg’s revised projection — 17 gigawatts of new wind and solar — is “still a very credible, strong year,” according to Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy. And the fallout from the pandemic isn’t likely to be a long-term threat to the industry, or to states’ plans to clean up their grids, experts say.

“The demand is still there,” Wetstone said. “The fundamental underlying health of the renewable sector is very strong, and the pieces are in place to continue to drive growth when people can get out and work.”

Many state officials think investments in clean energy could play a huge part in the country’s economic recovery. They point to the 2009 stimulus package passed during the last recession, which provided $90 billion for the industry. That investment paved the way for the rapidly growing, increasingly affordable renewable energy being provided today, several state officials said.

[Video] How to defend your solar rights – NERA and the threat the net metering

Author: Glen Brand               Published:  5/29/2020         Solar Neighborhood United

 

Ronald,

Thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday for our webinar “How to protect your solar rights: NERA and the threat to net metering”!

Even if you weren’t able to join us, we wanted to share the webinar with you.

Click here to get the full webinar video (59 mins). I’ve included the Q&A below.

The June 15 deadline for comments is coming up fast. We only have a couple of weeks to stop NERA’s petition for a federal takeover of state solar energy policy and the stripping of your solar rights.

What can you do?

  1. Before anything else … take action at SaveSolar.org!
  2. Share the Save Solar campaign on TwitterFacebook, or use our social media images to make your own posts.
  3. Participate in our online Day of Action to Save Solar on Wednesday, June 10. We need everyone to flood social media with images and messages to get as many people as possible to take action at SaveSolar.org.

Best,

Glen Brand
Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
Solar United Neighbors

Webinar Q&A

Don’t many solar homeowners already get credited the wholesale rate? I think that’s how it works here in CA.

Editor’s note: The wholesale rate is what the electricity costs the utility to produce vs. the retail rate which is the higher rate that the utility charges customers for that electricity.

It varies from state to state and in some cases by utility.

Has NERA suggested wholesale credits from solar generators be at time of year and time of day wholesale prices?

It’s not clear what rate structure will be allowed.

Would the net metering loss to solar owners be covered by takings legislation?

Almost certainly no.

Wouldn’t people with net metering agreements with their electric utility be grandfathered in so they would not be affected by any changes?

It’s not clear at this time if there will be any grandfathering.

Can PURPA’s “avoided cost” include avoided social costs and therefore be greater than just the current wholesale cost?

Editor’s note: PURPA is the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. It was meant to promote energy conservation and promote greater use of domestic energy and renewable energy.

NERA argues no.

If solar customers will need to pay taxes on the payments they receive does this mean that NERA is asking FERC to implement a “buy all, sell all” mechanism?

Editor’s note: “Buy all, sell all” is an arrangement where solar owners cannot self-consume electricity — all self-generated electricity goes directly onto the grid. A customer uses electricity exclusively from the grid and pays the retail rate.
Solar owners receive a predetermined sell rate for the electricity their systems generate. Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

This is a real possibility.

Does FERC have a “precedent” approach that is consistent?  If they’ve ruled once on an issue is that usually dispositive? Also, what remedies exist if FERC approves petition?

They have a tradition of respecting precedent, but… There will likely be legal opposition if FERC agrees with the petition.

Could a coalition of State Attorney Generals file a lawsuit on constitutional grounds?

Numerous Attorneys General are intervening in the case… We show a map late in the webinar.

Have you hired a lawyer for this? You need someone who’s familiar with all the nitty-gritty legal stuff and is also a good speaker.

Both Vote Solar and Solar United Neighbors are intervenors in this case….we are represented by Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization.

Are you asking us to send comments directly to the FERC docket, EL20-42?

No. We are asking people to take action at SaveSolar.org.

Sounds like ALEC is hiding in the background, so far.

Editor’s note: ALEC is American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives who draft and share model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States.

ALEC did do a report on net metering that cites the work of NERA’s attorney on the issue.

Solar United Neighbors is a solar advocacy group that is illuminating this issue regarding FERC and NERA. Are there any other solar groups or organizations that are taking up this issue to oppose it?

Solar United Neighbors and Vote Solar are part of a large coalition opposing the petition.

What actions have the US solar installers taken to date?

Many are urging their customers to take action at SaveSolar.org.

Who are the FERC commissioners? Are they appointed? Are they bipartisan or appointed by the current administration?

They are listed here: https://ferc.gov/ They are appointed by the President, and 3 out of 4 of them have been appointed by the current administration.

My Governor is against solar net metering. Is there someone else to send a letter to?

A main focus of the letters sent through our site is on states’ rights to set these policies. You can also use http://www.savesolar.org/act-now to just sent to FERC.

Is there a way to send comments in directly to FERC, instead of to the governor/state?

All comments submitted through SaveSolar.org will be submitted to FERC

Solar United Neighbors is a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Net Energy Metering and State Authority: What’s at Stake for Advanced Energy in FERC Petition

 

 

Author:  AEE                            Published: 5/28/2020         Webinar

Net Metering Webinar final

Live on Wednesday, June 3, at 3pmET / 12noonPT

States have long had the right to design retail billing and rate policies to facilitate the adoption of distributed energy resources, but right now that’s under threat of federal preemption. Net energy metering and similar practices have long been an important tool for states, as well as municipal and cooperative utilities, to empower consumers to take control over their energy supply. A recent petition from a little-known group called the New England Ratepayers Association asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to upend the status quo and expand federal regulatory authority over these policies and the customers that participate in them – with ramifications well beyond just net energy metering for rooftop solar. This webinar will explain how FERC ruling the wrong way could impact existing and emerging state and municipal and cooperative utility  approaches to supporting distributed energy resources in retail markets.

Net Metering Webinar final

Panelists
  • Ted Thomas, Chairman, Arkansas Public Service Commission
  • Hannah Muller, Director of Public Policy, Clearway Energy
  • John McCaffrey, Senior Regulatory Counsel, American Public Power Association
  • Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel, Advanced Energy Economy

Register for the Webinar

FEATURED ONLINE EVENTS

 

Prioritizing HBCU during the global pandemic and national recovery

Author: Johnny C. Taylor and Johnathan M. Holifield        Published: 5/21/2020      Yellow Hommer

WHIHBCU logo

On March 18, 2020, Vice President Mike Pence announced, “In the fight against the coronavirus, the Trump administration is not just taking a whole of government approach, but a whole-of-America approach.” Historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) are important contributors to our “all hands” approach to navigating our nation through these unprecedented times. Matching the urgency of the moment, the Trump administration continues to provide unprecedented support for HBCU.

Recall that just five weeks into his term, President Trump invited HBCU leaders to meet with him and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in the Oval Office. After the meeting, Vice President Mike Pence, the president’s Domestic Policy Council and representatives from several executive departments and agencies hosted a listening session with over 60 presidents and chancellors of HBCU. Trump administration engagement with and prioritization of HBCU began early and is robustly sustained to this day. During fiscal years 2017 – 2020, discretionary appropriations for HBCU programs authorized under the Higher Education Act total a record high of over $2.5 billion.

Importantly, HBCU have not been forgotten during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Trump, created a relief package of more than $2 trillion. Under the CARES Act, HBCU are recognized for their disproportionate impact on our Nation. Comprising only about 2% of all postsecondary degree-granting institutions, HBCU received about 7% of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief funds. That’s nearly $930 million. An additional prime resource for assistance is the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, which collaborates closely with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to effect economic change and is committed to supporting HBCU’s as they work to plan and implement their economic development strategies. The bureau has $1.467 billion in CARES Act Recovery Assistance available to help eligible grantees, including institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education, prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus.

HBCU support under the CARES Act continues the Trump administration’s ongoing recognition of the extraordinary contributions these institutions have made, and continue to make, to the general welfare and prosperity of our country. Under this Administration, President Trump has signed bills that have secured the largest level of Federal funding for HBCU ever recorded. This includes signing the FUTURE Act, which provides $85 million in funding to HBCU each year, and the historic Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill), which provides more than $100 million to HBCU land-grant institutions to fund student scholarships, research, and centers of excellence. Crucially, the Department of Education has also relieved four HBCU from $322 million of hurricane relief loans.

Looking ahead to post-COVID-19 America, HBCU will stand in shoes not unlike their founders who conquered the challenges of establishing enduring institutions to meet pressing national needs. President Trump’s 2021 budget proposes important investments to sustain meaningful HBCU support, strengthening HBCU contributions to the national recovery and renewed American prosperity. The 2021 budget includes $749 million in discretionary funding to HBCU programs authorized under the Higher Education Act, an increase of $44 million compared to the fiscal year 2020 level. The 2021 budget also maintains funding support for HBCU grant programs, including direct funding to Howard University. Finally, the budget requests $50 million to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities at HBCU located in Opportunity Zones, which complements Opportunity Funds for STEM-focused projects that will help prepare the future generation of STEM professionals.

Without doubt, United States education and economic competitiveness challenges are exacerbated by COVID-19. The Trump administration is cognizant that those challenges are not fleeting and will require sustained public and private action. The Trump administration will continue to prioritize HBCU during and after the national emergency, recognizing their indispensable contributions to building an inclusive, competitive and enduring national recovery, post-COVID-19 and beyond.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. is the Chairman of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Johnathan M. Holifield is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

‘America told us to get over it’: black Vietnam veterans hail Spike Lee film that finally tells their story

Author: Sam Levin     Published: May 23, 2020      Los Angeles

Da 5 Bloods highlights the experience of veterans who fought for their country only to be treated as second-class citizens

Dedan Kimathi Ji Jaga, right, 15 miles outside of Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1968.

Dedan Kimathi Ji Jaga, right, 15 miles outside Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1968. Photograph: Courtesy Dedan Kimathi Ji Jaga

When Dedan Kimathi Ji Jaga returned from combat in Vietnam, he painted his walls black, covered his windows and sat in darkness all day. His injuries and post-traumatic stress were severe, but as with many African American soldiers in 1968, the US government gave him little support.

“They summarily released me back to the streets with no aid,” said the 72-year-old California resident.

Black veterans across America are hoping this painful and enduring legacy will get the attention it deserves in Spike Lee’s new film, Da 5 Bloods, which chronicles the journey of four African American vets who return to Vietnam in search of their fallen squad leader and buried gold.

“The plight of African American service members who served in Vietnam, where they are now, why they are the way they are, this should be brought to light,” said Richard D Kingsberry, a veteran in Charlotte, North Carolina, who began his service in 1972 in the navy. “A lot of African American service members never got cared for properly after they returned, and that is a life-altering impact.”

A poster for Spike Lee’s new film.

A poster for Spike Lee’s new film. Photograph: Netflix

Starring Chadwick Boseman, Lee’s film follows his Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman, which was loosely based on the true story of a black policeman who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. Da 5 Bloods, coming to Netflix on 12 June, promises another politically charged war epic where “our heroes battle forces of man and nature – while confronted by the lasting ravages of the immorality” of Vietnam.

The complexities of black veterans’ history are rarely reflected on screen, and some retired service members said they were anxious for Lee’s exploration, which portrays the powerful moment a group of African American soldiers listening to the radio in the Vietnamese jungle learned of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

“We as blacks, ever since the civil war, have always run to America’s defense, and then when we get back, we’re second-class citizens,” said Larry Doggette, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran who lives in Hampton, Virginia. “We still are today.”

In 1967, black Americans were roughly 11% of the civilian population, but 16.3% of soldiers drafted and 23% of Vietnam combat troops. Some refused the draft, like Muhammad Ali, a conscientious objector who said: “My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America,” and, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.”

But Doggette, raised on a dairy farm, joined the marines in 1969 when, he said, the options for a black American graduating high school were to “work for somebody for little or no money or go to the military”. While deployed in Vietnam, he found himself caught in the same kind of riots that Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination had just sparked in US cities: “White and black not only had to look out for the enemy, they gotta look out for each other.”

He said he didn’t fully understand the racism he was perpetuating against Vietnamese people until he came home and “white America started treating me worse than what I was taught to think about the Vietnamese”.

A wounded US soldier is carried to a helicopter in Vietnam in 1969.

A wounded US soldier is carried to a helicopter in Vietnam in 1969. Photograph: Netflix/Rex/Shutterstock

Davis eventually started Yakima, Washington’s first black-owned construction business, but when white local residents responded to his newspaper ads for a veteran-owned contractor, they would often decline to work with him after meeting in person.

The main work he was able to get after the war was through affirmative action programs with government jobs, he said.

When Ji Jaga went to the VA, officials concluded he showed signs of mental instability but that it could not be classified and did not merit benefits.

Ji Jaga, who now lives in Richmond, California, said he eventually found an outlet and some community in the Black Panther party, which launched in Oakland. “That allowed me to come back down to earth.”

Larry Doggette in Chu Lai, Vietnam, 1970.

Larry Doggette in Chu Lai, Vietnam, 1970. Photograph: Courtesy Larry Doggette

Later, he participated in a PTSD study with other veterans, and two of his white friends in the group ended up receiving VA compensation. He still was not approved for benefits: “I don’t think this country has the consciousness to do what’s right for its citizens of color, much less its veterans of color. We were asking for entitlements that we had earned.”

Kingsberry, commander of the National Association for Black Veterans, noted that many African American soldiers were forced to do menial and degrading jobs upon their return from Vietnam, like cleaning and maintenance, and that some, fed up with the disrespect, wound up dishonorably discharged, denying them any benefits for the rest of their lives. “It was devastating and heartbreaking, but it was a reflection of the country.”

It was difficult to quantify the long-term impacts of this disparate treatment on the health, economic opportunities and quality of life of black veterans, he added. “When white America hurts, something has to be done. But when black America hurts, it’s ‘y’all need to get over it’.” He said he hoped any broader reckoning of this decades-long inequality would address the need for “true reparations”. But he’s not holding his breath: “No one wants to broach that subject and Congress doesn’t want to write that check.”

Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s film shines a light on a story that needs telling, veterans say. Photograph: Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/AFP via Getty Images

For his part, Lee is more than committed to recording the untold history of black valor. “We’ve always believed in this country,” he said in a recent interview. “That is why we fought for this country, even knowing we were slaves, in the civil war … We built this motherfucker! I mean, we’ve been nothing but patriotic! And this great, great country has not really made its promise yet to people of color.”

Lee is releasing his film at a time when the Covid-19 crisis carries painful parallels for some African American veterans, given the unequal losses of black Americans in the epidemic. Coronavirus fatalities in the US have surpassed the country’s Vietnam death toll.

“These are the most vulnerable people. Why aren’t you doing something more to help the less fortunate?” said Larry Donnell Dugger, a 69-year-old veteran, adding that the continued killings of African Americans by law enforcement similarly keep “the door open to a lot of anger and lack of trust” for black veterans. “There is supposed to be a system for everyone. The wounds that are visible and invisible will always be there.”

America faces an epic choice …

… in the coming year, and the results will define the country for a generation. These are perilous times. Over the last three years, much of what the Guardian holds dear has been threatened – democracy, civility, truth.

Science and reason are in a battle with conjecture and instinct to determine public policy in this time of a pandemic. Partisanship and economic interests are playing their part, too. Meanwhile, misinformation and falsehoods are routine. At a time like this, an independent news organisation that fights for data over dogma, and fact over fake, is not just optional. It is essential.

The Guardian has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Like many other news organisations, we are facing an unprecedented collapse in advertising revenues. We rely to an ever greater extent on our readers, both for the moral force to continue doing journalism at a time like this and for the financial strength to facilitate that reporting.

We believe every one of us deserves equal access to fact-based news and analysis. We’ve decided to keep Guardian journalism free for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. This is made possible thanks to the support we receive from readers across America in all 50 states.

WEBINAR – Opportunity in the Old Dominion: What the Virginia Clean Economy Act Means for Business

Author: Advance Energy Webinar      Published: 5/19/2020

Recorded on Tuesday, May 19, at 3pm ET / 12noon PT

On April 11, Gov. Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), making Virginia the first state in the Southeast United States to commit to 100% clean energy and setting 2045 as the target for reaching that goal. The new law sets specific requirements for energy efficiency, renewable energy (onshore and offshore), energy storage, and more. This makes Virginia, long a laggard in energy policy, a prime target for advanced energy growth, providing savings for consumers and jobs and investment for the Commonwealth. In this webinar, one of the legislative patrons of the VCEA and representatives of advanced energy companies discussed how the Act came to fruition and the opportunities for industry growth and economic benefit made possible by this landmark new law.

WHAT THE VIRGINIA CLEAN ECONOMY ACT MEANS FOR BUSINESS

Panelists:
  • Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-9th District)
  • Rick Counihan, Global Lead Energy Product Policy & Regulation, Google 
  • Hayes Framme, Government Relations & Communications Manager, Ørsted 
  • Devin Welch, Chief Executive Officer, SunTribe Solar
  • Harry Godfrey, Executive Director, Virginia AEE

View the Recording

https://info.aee.net/what-the-virginia-clean-economy-act-means-for-business?submissionGuid=1c1edc7d-b7e2-4b48-ac48-5c056a8e5847

 

5 Steps for States to Keep Advanced Energy Progress on Track

Author: Hannah Polikov         Published: 5/18/2020            Advance Energy Prespective

Covid Steps for States-730

The numbers are staggering: 33 million Americans have lost their jobs since the start of the COVID pandemic, including nearly 600,000 in the advanced energy industry. And by the end of June, that number could hit 850,000. That would be nearly a quarter of the 3.6 million advanced energy jobs that existed at the start of the year – a time when advanced energy was a $238 billion a year industry in the United States, with employment that was growing nearly twice as fast as U.S. employment overall. For those of us who work in the industry, we know the new reality all too well, as emails bounce back not with “out of office,” but rather “no longer works here” or “has been furloughed.” It’s heartbreaking. But there are things state policymakers – especially governors and public utility commissioners – can do to prevent advanced energy business from coming to a complete halt during the public health crisis, and keep the advanced energy industry in a position to aid the economic recovery that follows. Here we lay out five ways state policymakers could do just that.

1. Make Procedural Changes that Make it Easier to Do Business

  • Allow video hearings, workshops and cross-examinations
  • Allow attestations instead of verifications/notarized documents
  • Allow virtual professional licensing renewals and waive certain in-person requirements
  • Allow virtual permitting processes (e.g., instead of public in-person permitting hearings) at the state, county and local level
  • Allow virtual implementation and inspections, where feasible, for measures using customer photos and/or video
  • Allow e-filing where currently not available, and waive paper filing requirements
  • Ensure procedures enable transparency and the ability of diverse stakeholders to participate in discourse, and in building the record that supports fact-based decision making
  • Ease supply chain bottlenecks for advanced energy components by classifying these parts as “critical infrastructure”

2. Lower Costs for Customers and Businesses and Help Them Manage Cash Flow

  • Provide access to long-term debt and low interest rates to ensure liquidity for advanced energy companies
  • Leverage advanced metering infrastructure data to better target and engage customers in EE and bill payment assistance
  • Give utilities more flexibility on how to spend their energy efficiency (EE) and demand response dollars so they can prioritize activities that are able to be done safely, or to increase incentive levels in the near term (e.g., redirect to home energy reports, behavioral efficiency, digital marketplaces)
  • Issue bonds to keep money flowing to incentive programs typically funded by tax revenue
  • Expand demand response program pre-enrollment in anticipation of residential summer load (i.e., allow customers to learn about, validate eligibility, enroll in, receive rebates for demand response, and/or receive a pre-provisioned device that is program-ready upon installation by the homeowner)
  • For existing demand response customers, consider resetting baseline demand data to reflect new consumption patterns so customers can continue to participate
  • Extend payment assurance around customer non-payment to community choice aggregators, energy service providers and other direct access programs that cannot seek cost recovery through the state’s commission
  • Roll out more tools and options to enable customers to lower bills, such as:
    • Opt-in time-of-use rates
    • Remote demand response programs
    • Remote energy audits
    • Demand charge ratchet relief for shuttered businesses or for companies retooling to respond to COVID that may experience new peaks

3. Put People Back to Work Safely:

  • Include advanced energy in the definition of critical infrastructure or essential services so that work that can be done safely can continue (e.g., new advanced metering infrastructure deployment; battery storage projects; electric vehicle supply equipment installation, operations and maintenance; certain EE activities and renewable energy project development)
  • Take advantage of the fact that many schools, public buildings, and commercial and industrial buildings are now empty to perform/accelerate EE projects

4. Stay on Track to Achieve Long-term Goals:

  • Do not waver from long-term renewable energy or EE goals. Instead, recognize that these sectors will help create jobs during the economic recovery
  • Keep the interconnection queue and project permitting moving by ensuring sufficient staffing levels and use of technology to enable virtual processes
  • Create community resilience grants to support the development of local, distributed  energy resources (i.e. solar, storage, building electrification, energy efficiency, electric vehicle charging, grid-connected buildings, microgrids)
  • Offer interest free loans for families and businesses to invest in energy efficiency or renewable energy through residential programs and PACE commercial financing

5. Keep the Lights On:

  • Support microgrids and other distributed energy technologies to ensure that critical facilities like telecommunications, supermarkets, and hospitals are capable of isolating from outages of the distribution grid.
  • Support microgrid development, demand response, and other distributed energy technologies to manage residential load in locations with transformers and/or substations that may not be equipped to handle higher-than-usual residential summer load

For state-specific ideas, see this list from our Michigan state partner organization, Michigan EIBC, and these joint comments we filed together with the Michigan Public Service Commission.

PG COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES

Author: PG County EDC         Published: 5/21/2020

COVID-19 BUSINESS NOTICE (1).png

Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation is dedicated to keeping the Business Community up to date with Local and State resources and news to assist its operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Check Back Daily for New Information



CURRENT UPDATES

  • 5.14.2020 | Today, County Executive Alsobrooks announced that she is extending the Stay-At-Home Order for Prince George’s County until June 1.

  • 5.7.2020 | Governor Hogan announced Marylanders can partake in outdoor activities, such as golf, tennis, boating, fishing & camping. To assist biz in safe reopening, guidelines are being developed for specific industry sectors, starting w/ marinas & golf courses. More Information Here

  • 4.13.2020 | The County Executive is signing an Executive Order that requires all residents and visitors to wear face coverings in all grocery stores, pharmacies and large chain retail establishments, as well as when riding TheBus, that will go into effect Wednesday, April 15. This is for the safety of both employees and customers who rely on these essential services. These face coverings can be a face mask, homemade mask, bandana or scarf.

  • 4.13.2020 | The Prince George’s County Business Relief Fund Application has been released. More Information Here | Apply Here

  • 4.1.2020 | County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the Prince George’s County Business Relief Fund for County Businesses. This $15M fund was established to provide financial assistance to businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The Relief Fund can be used to support cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other business critical cash operating costs. More Information Here

  • 3.30.2020 | AS OF 8 P.M. ON MARCH 30, THE STATE OF MARYLAND IS UNDER A ‘STAY-AT-HOME’ ORDER. – All those living in Maryland are ordered to stay in their homes or places of residences, except to participate in essential activities. Read the executive order. | Interpretive Guidance

  • 3.28.2020 | Under the new federal CARES Act, $350 billion will be used to establish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loan guarantees to small businesses to assist with payroll costs for workers who are forced to stay home. Read more.
    A Q&A from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship can be found here.

  • 3.23.2020 | The Governor issued an executive order prohibiting price gouging. Those who may have complaints or concerns are encouraged to contact the Maryland Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection by email, file a complaint through the website, or call. Read the executive order and complete list here.

  • 3.23.2020 | Governor Hogan has enacted an emergency order to close all non-essential businesses across the state, effective at 5 pm today. In addition to what is already closed by prior orders, this order requires the closure of anything that is not included in the new federal guidelines for critical infrastructure sectors. Read the executive order here | Interpretive Guidance | Interpretive Guidance

  • 3.19.2020 | Enclosed malls are ordered to close. This does not require stores to close that are attached to malls and directly accessible from the outside. Recreational establishments across the state, including bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, and amusement parks are also ordered to close. Read the executive order here. | Interpretive Guidance

  • 3.19.2020 | Businesses (Including Restaurants) that serve alcohol are now permitted to provide carry-out and delivery of alcoholic beverages. Read the executive order.

  • 3.17.2020 | The Small Business Administration has declared D.C.-including Prince George’s County- as an economic disaster. Businesses can apply ONLINE for a Disaster Assistance Loan for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

  • 3.16.2020 | Governor Hogan has ordered the closure of bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and fitness centers effective at 5 p.m. on March 16. Businesses which provide drive-through, carry-out, and food delivery services may continue to do so.
    Read about specific closures in the executive order | Interpretive Guidance

  • Many retailers have announced temporary closures, adjusted hours, or precautions imposed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to keep their employees and communities safe. Read about Major Retailer Updates Due to COVID-19 here.


Are you Still “Open for Business” under the new COVID-19 Guidelines? Is your establishment serving carryout takeout, delivery, or curbside orders? The Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce will collect and share your business information. Use the link below to submit your restaurant information.


COVID-19 INFOGRAPHICS FOR BUSINESS

Basketball legend Magic Johnson pledges $100M to help minority businesses

Author: NAN NEWS      Published:  5/19/2020     National Action Network

Magic Johnson Interviewed On GMA, Talks 100 Funding to Small Business Loan Program

May 18, 2020 (New York, NY) — Earvin “Magic” Johnson, majority owner of EquiTrust, the nation’s largest minority-owned insurance company, announced a $100 million partnership with MBE Capital Partners (MBECP), the largest certified minority-owned asset-based lender, and the National Action Network (NAN). Together, they are focused on distributing PPP loans geared specifically for minority and women-owned businesses in underserved communities.

Johnson’s EquiTrust is providing critical financial support to underserved communities and businesses that have been traditionally neglected. These small and diverse businesses often have difficulty developing strong lending relationships with big banks. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, up to 90% of businesses owned by people of color have been, or will likely be, shut out of the PPP program.

MBE Capital is perfectly positioned to help small and diverse businesses take advantage of this latest round of PPP funding; and the company is an approved SBA lender with over 20 years of experience serving diverse and minority businesses. They can process up to 5,000 loans per day, utilizing end-to-end online technology to accept, underwrite and transmit the applications to the SBA. MBE Capital has already processed over $300,000,000 in PPP loans — including the EquiTrust partnership funding $100,000,000.

MBECP has also partnered with The Enterprise Center (TEC), a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), providing them with technology and resources to help them process over $100,000,000 in PPP loans. This will allow TEC’s CDFI to process more SBA loans in two weeks that they have in the last 10 years.

By working with Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s EquiTrust, MBECP pipelines is over $500,000,000. MBE Capital is committed to providing vital funding for small businesses in underserved communities. With almost $100 billion left in the second round of PPP funding, it is imperative that vulnerable small businesses are able to secure resources to sustain.

According to Rafael Martinez, CEO of MBE Capital: “I contacted EquiTrust, to be an additional strategic partner because I know that EquiTrust believes in changing outcomes for underserved communities the way I do. The team at EquiTrust and my direct contact Kenyatta Matheny were incredible, and we put this deal together from first call to contracts in a week.” He added: “After receiving hundreds of emails and calls from applicants asking if they can receive their PPP loans as soon as possible because this was a last hope to stay open – and in some cases to keep food on the tables of their employees – I was moved to expand this and look to fund over 20,000 PPP loans for minority companies”

“This is a unique SBA-backed opportunity to use the vast resources of EquiTrust’s to prudently provide real and much needed cash to deserving minority and women-owned businesses that find it difficult to secure such funding through traditional means,” said Eric Holoman, President and Chief Executive Officer of EquiTrust. “The jobs saved will make a significant difference to their families and communities. Equitrust is excited to partner with Rafael Martinez and MBECP to do this and more as we try to level the playing field for businesses that are the backbone of America.”

APPLY FOR A PPP LOAN TODAY OR LEARN MORE AT WWW.MBECP.COM

ABOUT MBE CAPITAL PARTNERS

MBE Capital is a Latino-owned company providing Supply Chain Finance solutions for Fortune 500 companies and their suppliers. With over 31 years of knowledge, experience and credibility serving the minority business community. We provide several financial solutions receivables, purchase order and supply chain financing that allow small & diverse businesses to grow by managing cash flow effectively. In 2019, MBE Capital financed over $1.7B in Fortune 500, city, state and federal debt. On average, our clients have experienced 27% year over year growth.

ABOUT EQUITRUST

In June of 2015, Earvin “Magic” Johnson became majority owner of EquiTrust Life Insurance, the largest minority-owned life insurance company in the history of the country at $22 billion in assets. EquiTrust Life Insurance Company is a trusted provider of life insurance and annuity products with a strong track record of operating performance. We are a national carrier of competitive, client-friendly options, available through various distribution channels including more than 23,800 independent sales representatives and independent marketing organizations. EquiTrust offers fixed-rate and indexed annuities and life insurance and is headquartered in Chicago with operations in West Des Moines.

 

 

Mayor Bowser Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Proposed Budget

Author: DC Chamber of Commerce      Published: 5/18/2020    DC Chaber of Commerce

Mayor Bowser Releases FY 2021 Proposed Budget And Financial Plan
During today’s Mayoral Press Conference, Mayor Bowser announced the release of the proposed Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Budget and Financial Plan and revised FY 2020 Supplemental Budget to the Council of the District of Columbia as part of the District’s annual budget process. Due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Mayor’s budget for FY20 had to fill approximately $720m in shortfalls and fill approximately $773m for FY21. To do so, the Mayor has utilized a variety of methods to realizing additional savings including reduced spending, utilized stabilization reserves, tapping resources from the HPTF, and reversed the plan to pay off the bonds of the baseball stadium 10 years early from 2025 to 2035. For more information about the District’s proposed budget or to view the full budget proposal, visit www.budget.dc.gov
The DC Council has revised the budget oversight hearing schedule which is included below for your review and records. The new date for the Mayor to present the proposed budget testimony to DC Council is now set for May 19, 2020.
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, this year, the DC Council will be conducting its work remotely, including, but not limited to, the use of teleconferencing platforms to hold public budget hearings. As such, the Mayor’s testimony on the budget will take place via a virtual meeting platform on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 12noon (or following the legislative meeting) and also broadcast live.The public will be able to watch the presentation on Council Channel 13 (Cable Television Providers); DC Council Website (www.dccouncil.us); or Office of Cable Television Website (entertainment.dc.gov).

6 Month Update of ECC’s 2019-2020 Felipe Floresca High-Road Fellows

Author: News Release         Published:  May 13, 2020         Emerald Cities  Collaborative]

Tabaris might compare his Felipe Floresca Fellowship to drinking from a fire hose.  He testified before the U.S. Senate Environmental Justice Caucus in his first week.  His message focused on the importance of including workforce education, training and job opportunities for communities of color in the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). As a black male from rural South Carolina he impressed upon the senators how rare it was for young people like him to have opportunities in well-paying careers that also address critical community problems.  Water quality, access and affordability are real problems in his community, but few are represented in the planning and decision-making processes

That was just the beginning.  Tabaris continues to build economic opportunities for those left out of the clean economy and to ensure that communities of color are leading the effort to build sustainable, just and inclusive economies. He has been instrumental in facilitating a national working group to develop an online learning program for the ECC’s signature E-Contractor Academy, a program that trains small, minority, women, veteran and disadvantaged firms as socially responsible contractors to perform energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofit projects. He also brings classic millennial social media skills to ECC’s operations.  He applied for and received funding to develop a whiteboard video on ECC’s High Road Accelerated Minority Business Institute (HRAMBI).  He also masterminded a video project telling ECC’s high road story.  Tabaris describes his fellowship experience as “very informative, pragmatic, and creative”. We look forward to his continued growth and contributions to ECC’s mission.

With deep gratitude for her participation in the Felipe Floresca fellowship, here are a few highlights of our past 6 months with ECC East Bay wonderful fellow, Lisa Tran. From the jump, Lisa has been a tremendous support to our small but mighty team and our main local project Anchors in Resilience Communities (ARC).  She has a sharp and curious mind and many skills, some administrative…like typing copious notes, and organizing files in google drive, and being the lead on salesforce adoption of our contacts. To more extensive skills as engaging with our workforce partners, representing ECC in the development of our East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) work and coordinating ECC’s ARC three part webinar series. This series included national speakers with hundreds of participants nationally, and her technical and creative support was critical.  In addition, Lisa is helping by participating in, and when needed, facilitating the emergent conversations on the East Bay’s electrification, solar for schools, and new projects and innovation for ARC.  Always a strong YES, Lisa has been of great support to our local and national communication deliverables.  And there is more,  Lisa is diving deep into learning about workforce needs and employee ownership opportunities within the regional food system, along with supporting our ever growing coordinating demands. So appreciative, Mahalo Lisa!

Mikela has been working and leading important aspects of our work in the San Francisco market. She has been a part of the Anchor Partner Network team, where ECSF is convening over 150 community stakeholders in public workshops to understand the equity impacts of building decarbonization, and to design programs and policies with equity as a lens. Mikela has helped create the agendas, content and facilitation in these meetings, and has been a strong leader in facilitating small group conversations. She has also been working on the SF RENEW multifamily program to project manage two clients- Chinatown CDC and Asian N’hood Design. On the E-Contractor front, MIkela has done one-on-one check-ins with our grads, and is the point of contact for any issues they face. Mikela has also taken the lead on researching and pursuing local funding opportunities to help grow and support our work. She has emerged as a key support and leader of our work here, and has been appreciated by all our steering committee members, stakeholders and allies for her work and excellence.

Tama Semo, the Felipe Floresca Fellow in Seattle, has brought tremendous enthusiasm for our mission at the intersection of environment and equity.  He is an active learner, copious notetaker, and willing leader.  Among Tama’s many contributions include helping to lead the organization’s adoption of the salesforce platform including customizations and 1-on-1 coaching.  He’s also become a Zoom wizard, utilizing the platform the enhance our ability to convene diverse stakeholders in our region.  He supported the RENEW retrofit and conservation management efforts with site visits, renewable energy compliance, monthly utility monitoring and complex analyses of utility use in Bellwether Housing’s properties.  Recently he led a statewide team strategizing an Equity First approach to building electrification.  When not performing his assigned Emerald Cities’ duties he is an active participant in Got Green’s Young Leaders Program and has a leadership position with the Pacific Islander Community working on capacity building and their response to COVID-19.

 

The End of Solar As We Know It

Author: Anya Schoolman         Published: 5/13/2020            Solar United Neighbors

Anya Schoolman

 

Ronald,

A front group for big utilities has launched an outrageous attack on your solar rights.

It could cost you thousands of dollars if you have solar or make it impossible for you to go solar in the future.

They want federal regulators to block you from earning fair credit for the surplus electricity your solar panels produce.

They want to overturn nearly 40 years of state energy policy and put it in the hands of the federal government.

And they want to do it while everyone’s attention is focused on the public health crisis. They’ve even paid $30,000 to speed up the process before people know what’s happening.

You have less than 30 days to prevent this!

Leaders across the country are fighting back! They’re demanding federal regulators protect your solar rights.

Best,

\

 

Revitalizing America Post COVID-19: Roadmap to Activate HBCU Revitalization Ecosystems for an Inclusive, Competitive and Enduring National Economic Recovery

Author: US Department of Commerce     Published: 5/12/2020   US Department of Commerce

Department of Commerce logo

Revitalizing America

Post COVID-19

Roadmap to Activate HBCU Revitalization Ecosystems for an Inclusive, Competitive and Enduring National Economic Recovery

With this roadmap of concepts to consider, the White House Initiative on HBCU encourages HBCU and local, state and Federal public and private partners, to explore activating HBCU Revitalization Ecosystems to mobilize and leverage the nation’s HBCU in America’s economic recovery. Let’s ensure HBCU, students, faculty, communities and public and private partners are aligned and engaged to help inclusively move the nation forward, post COVID-19 and beyond.

This morning, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications for our $1.5 billion CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

Here is the link to the press release.  Here is the link to the EDA FAQ.

Please visit eda.gov/coronavirus, our webpage with information on eligible entities and assistance that is available for communities and regions to respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Invite others to do the same.

 

 

White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

D.C. Go Solar Group

Author: Corey Ramsden       5/11/2020      solarunitedneighbors.org

Group of DC residents holding signs about going solar

Considering solar but not sure where to start? We can help.

💵 How much does solar cost and is it worth it for me?
👷🏽‍♀️ How do I know which installer to use?
⚡️ What happens if I make more energy than I use?
📝 What should I look for in a proposal and what questions should I be asking?

There’s a lot of information out there about solar, but it’s not always clear where to start, or even what to trust.

That’s why people turn to Solar United Neighbors. We’re a vendor-neutral nonprofit with expertise not only in solar energy but in the specific ins and outs of going solar in D.C.

We’ve helped more than 600 D.C. homeowners go solar — and counting!

We can help you, too! Sign up now to join the D.C. Go Solar Group.

I’D LIKE TO JOIN THE GROUP!

Want to see what content is included?


How does it work?

You may know us for our solar co-ops but this is something different.

Think of this group as not only a network for resources and support from peers, but also a personal coach for going solar.

We’ll give you the tools you need and be there to answer any questions that come up throughout the process. And you’ll have the support of a group of fellow D.C. homeowners who are going solar too!

Who should join?

Anyone in Washington, D.C. who’s considering going solar and wants to learn more. If you could use some extra guidance or motivation, the D.C. Go Solar Group is for you!

“Going solar […] was a simple and easy experience – plus I met some very nice folks throughout the process.” – Dane Cherry and Melissa Westman-Cherry

“[Solar United Neighbors] provided a wealth of information about solar systems; the cost and financing options; and, most important, the net-metering and solar credits, which is a great incentive in D.C. metro area.” – Gigi Mathews

For a one-time cost of $85, you’ll receive:

    • Timely guidance and resources 👨🏻‍💻 from our team of solar experts. We’ll be there for you every step of the way—from learning how solar works to having panels installed (and beyond that too!). We’ll share what you need to know, when you need to know it-all in one convenient place.
    • A detailed proposal review 📝. We’ll look at up to three proposals from solar installers of your choosing. We’ll help you understand the jargon and clarify the pros and cons, so you can make a confident and informed decision.
    • Peer support 👬 in our members-only forum. Ask questions and share information with others who are going or have gone solar in D.C.
    • Access to our new Solar Owner’s Manual 📘. Trust us, it’ll come in handy once you’re a proud solar energy producer!
    • A one-year membership 🗓 with Solar United Neighbors that also includes further resources, solar updates, and ways to stay connected with fellow solar supporters in your area.

This group is open to new members!

I’D LIKE TO JOIN THE GROUP!

 

“8 weeks to solar ready” content includes:

  • Week 1 – Learn the Basics
    • Day 1 – Join the group, meet your group members, say hello
    • Day 2 – Financing solar
    • Day 3 – Economics & incentives for solar
    • Day 4 – Solar technology, warranties, etc.
    • Day 5 – Net Metering explained
    • Day 6 – Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)
    • Day 7 – Week 1 wrap-up
  • Week 2 – Battery technology, connecting with your community
  • Week 3 – Find installers, ask the right questions, and get proposals
  • Week 4 – Getting proposals and bonus content
  • Week 5 – How to review and compare proposals
  • Week 6 – Proposal comparison services & group support
  • Week 7 – Proposal comparison services & group support
  • Week 8 – What to expect during installation and beyond
  • Follow-up support through project completion including:
    • Access to our new Solar Owner’s Manual
    • Optional, custom “Solar array mileage sticker”
    • Survey/feedback opportunities

 

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Summer Analyst Programs and Virtual Recruiting Events

Author: hbcuconnect.com  Published: 5/7/20  HBCU CONNECT announcements@hbcuconnect.com

2021 Summer Analyst Programs
The following 2021 Summer Analyst Programs provide training
and development, mentorship, and networking opportunities:
Investment Banking Program:
Summer analysts gain exposure to the business, learn financial
modeling and valuation techniques, and contribute to innovative
deals that are transforming today’s corporate landscape.
 Application deadline: September 1, 2020

Capital Markets Program:
Summer analysts will have a hands-on experience interacting
with global debt and equity markets, and will have the unique
opportunity to help originate and execute new capital markets
activities for Investment Banking clients such as corporate bond
issuances or Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Capital Markets
offers the ideal mix of investment banking client coverage and
real-time markets sales and trading exposure.
 Application deadline: September 1, 2020

Global Markets Program:
Summer analysts will develop technical and analytical skills while
gaining exposure to their chosen business area.
Available programs include Sales and Trading (rotational), Equity
Research, Securitized Products, and Leverage Finance Capital
Markets.
 Application deadline: September 30, 2020

Asset Management Program:
Summer analysts join one of our boutique product groups and
work on projects that make a tangible impact on our business.
Opportunities in private equity fundraising are also available in
our Private Funds Group.
 Application deadline: September 30, 2020

Internal Audit Program:
Summer analysts work a part of the team that protects the
assets, reputation and sustainability of the organization through
new technologies, data analytics and the latest training
techniques.
 New York application deadline: September 30, 2020
 Raleigh application deadline: October 14, 2020

Technology Program:
Summer analysts work on state of the art programs and systems
to support our clients and employees. These range from rapid
trading programs for clients, to improvements in the bank’s
overall efficiency, to global, standardized infrastructure
technology.
 New York application deadline: September 30, 2020
 Raleigh application deadline: October 14, 2020

Risk Program:
Summer analysts work as part of the team that acts as guardian
of the bank’s risk appetite and provides effective and
independent risk oversight. Opportunities are available in Market,
Credit, Operational, Fiduciary, Liquidity and Reputational risks.
 New York application deadline: September 30, 2020
 Raleigh application deadline: October 14, 2020

Qualifications and how to apply:
 You must be graduating in December 2021 or May/June 2022
to qualify for our summer analyst programs
 To apply, please submit an application here. You may apply to
multiple programs
 Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis

Stay Connected
 Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook
 Continue to check out our Campus Recruiting Event
Calendar for the most up to date list of virtual events and
webinars
 For more information on our career opportunities, click here
 For all other inquiries, please email
campusrecruitment.americas@credit-suisse.com

2020 Virtual Recruiting Events
The following 2020 Spring and Summer virtual events provide
insight into Credit Suisse’s recruitment process and the
opportunity to network with business representatives:

Firmwide Overview
Join us for an overview of the Credit Suisse structure, programs,
and recruitment process. Panelists from Investment Banking &
Capital Markets, Global Markets, and Tech will answer questions
about their careers following the overview presentation. To
submit your questions, email Campus Recruitment by May 5.
 Thursday, May 7, 2020 from 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM EST
 For undergraduate students
 To register, click here
 Registration deadline: May 5

Advancing Diverse Talent: Virtual Interview Prep Training
In partnership with our Black Professionals Network, Campus
Recruitment will provide you with interview tips for virtual
interviews that can help you stand out throughout the interview
process.
 Thursday, May 14, 2020 from 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM EST
 For undergraduate students
 To register, click here
 Registraton deadline: May 12

Advancing Diverse Talent: Coffee and Careers with
Credit Suisse
Take a coffee break with us to explore the various career paths
and summer internships we offer. Chatrooms will be set up by
division for you to speak to business representatives about
opportunities available that meet your interest and what you are
looking for out of a career. Campus Recruiters and our Black
Professionals Network will be available to answer questions
about our recruiting process and how to break into the finance
industry regardless of your major or prior work experience.
 Wednesday, May 20, 2020 from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
 For undergraduate students
 To register, click here
 Registration deadline: May 17

Advancing Diverse Talent: Build Your Networking Skills
Training
In partnership with our Black Professionals Network, Campus
Recruitment will provide you with networking tips that can help
you stand out throughout the recruitment process.
 Wednesday, June 17, 2020 from 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM EST
 For undergraduate students
 To register, click here
 Registration deadline: June 15

Ask Me Anything: Global Markets
Learn about the Global Markets division from our Analyst panel.
Submit questions for the panel and topiuscs of interest to CampsRecruitment by July 7.
 Thursday, July 9, 2020 from 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM EST
 For sophomores interested in Global Markets
 To register, click here
 Registration deadline: July 7

Ask Me Anything: Asset Management
Learn about the Asset Management division from our Analyst
panel. Submit questions for the panel and topics of interest to
Campus Recruitment by August 4.
 Thursday, August 6, 2020 from 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM EST
 For sophomores interested in Asset ManagementTo register, click here
 Registration deadline: August 4

 

PEER Celebrates Earth Day with Mayor Bowser, DC DGS, and the On-Site Solar Project Team Recognizing One of the Most Powerful Solar Systems in City & Nation

Author: PEER Consultants, P.C.        Published:  5/7/2020

ribbon-cutting_1.jpg

On Tuesday, April 17, Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off “Earth Week DC” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at HD Woodson High School in DC to celebrate the launch of one of the largest on-site solar projects in the country.

PEER Consultants, P.C. (PEER) is the managing partner of the DC Solar Joint Venture selected by the District of Columbia Department of General Services (DGS) to develop, install, own and operate solar facilities on various municipal sites. The project now consists of 20 facilities and 2 MW of capacity.  The fourteen (14) government-owned sites that were initially designated for this project are reaching completion.

PEER led the overall development effort – including securing financing through the sale of the systems upon completion – to Standard Solar Inc. and assigning the Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA). PEER also managed the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract with our joint venture partner, Solar Park USA. PEER provided engineering design services for all the sites and secured all required municipal and utility permits. PEER provided engineering services during construction and developed O&M manuals and provided training to facility managers at each site as well as Standard Solar staff.

This project is part of the school modernization program where solar panels are installed and connected behind the electricity meter. This results in a reduction on the electricity bills for the schools, saving the schools money, and making room in the budget to add solar PV and renewable energy generation educational workshops/courses to the curriculum.

Through this project, PEER and the members of the DC Solar JV team are directly supporting
Clean Energy DC and the District’s goal of becoming the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the nation. Clean Energy DC is the District’s plan to shift towards clean energy (like wind and solar power) to cut pollution, save money, and create jobs. Similar to what the plan proposes, the intent and results of the On-Site Solar Power Purchasing Agreement that PEER and the DC Solar JV have been working on, is helping to achieve the goal of installing significantly more local solar power, along with systems to share energy in the respective neighborhoods.

When asked about her efforts in this project, Dr. Lilia Abron, P.E., managing partner of DC Solar (a JV) said she “commends this project and the District for demonstrating a true commitment to the vision and implementation of modernized and sustainable energy delivery systems for present and future generations to enjoy.” She goes on further to say that “we (PEER) are proud to be a leading member of the project team for this contract and we look forward to continuing to work directly with District agencies in the future to support the clean energy goals, initiatives, and efforts.”

One of the most valuable elements of this project is that the services are being provided mainly using the skills of local staff. In addition, it has expanded upon the capabilities of the diverse workforce within the emerging renewable energy marketplace. It has provided the opportunity for newly trained staff to work on their first solar project. Over two-thirds of this project as a whole is performed by local District-based Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs), some with little or no prior solar experience. More specifically, the installation subcontractors are all local CBE-certified.

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The Ultimate Guide To Marijuana And Anxiety

Author: John Parrott                Published: 5/7/2020             RELAXLIKEABOSS.COM

The Ultimate Guide To Marijuana And Anxiety

There is a lot of confusing talk on the relationship between marijuana and anxiety. On one hand, some people swear by weed’s ability to calm the wind in their mind.

On the contrary, others claim that marijuana makes their anxiety a million times worse thereby requiring them to do THC detox.

So, let’s get the facts straight:

How does cannabis affect anxiety?

Does it treat or make it worse?

What’s the recommendable way of using marijuana for anxiety?

Table of Contents


Understanding the Paradoxical Link between Marijuana and Anxiety

To better understand how these 2 interact, we need to define what anxiety is and how marijuana interferes with the chemistry in the brain.


Anxiety

This refers to a mental health disorder that causes increased alertness, excessive worry, unwanted thoughts, panic attacks, and physical signs such as an elevated heart rate.

Anxiety is normal and the brain will naturally resort to it when an individual faces potentially harmful threats.

Anxiety acts as an alarm and triggers off the fight-or-flight response that is responsible for preparing an individual to either flee or physically confront a potential threat.


How marijuana works in the brain 

The human brain consists of a network of neurons and neural circuits that make up the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Endocannabinoids are molecules that relay chemical messages by attaching to the cannabinoid receptors (CB1) of target neurons.

If you are wondering why these molecules are called ‘cannabinoids’, then that’s because they have a structure pretty much similar to that of marijuana cannabinoids except they are naturally made in the body.

When you consume marijuana, the chemical compounds- mainly THC and CBD- are absorbed into the bloodstream where they zip all around the body and eventually get in the brain.

Since marijuana’s cannabinoids resemble those produced by the body and they work in a similar manner, your brain tends to recognize them.

They are powerful, though, so they overwhelm the natural cannabinoids and bind to the CB1 receptors.

THC- which has the principal psychoactive effects- alters normal functions in the brain thereby causing what we recognize as a ‘HIGH.’


How does marijuana affect anxiety? 

Now, besides causing the HIGH effect, THC binds to cannabinoid receptors leading to the release of;

  • Dopamine– involved in cognitive functions such as focus and memory
  • Serotonin– a neurotransmitter with several functions including regulating mood and social behavior
  • GABA– a neurotransmitter that reduces the activity of neurons in the brain

Increased activity of serotonin and GABA inhibits the production of norepinephrine- a hormone and neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety and alertness.

The effects of low levels of norepinephrine vary between individuals. For some, this inhibition tends to calm them down- this is the group that firmly believes that weed helps in reducing anxiety.

But for others, low levels of norepinephrine trigger arousal and excitation by increasing the activity in the locus ceruleus and limbic forebrain.

Resultantly, this leads to hyperactivity in the sympathetic nervous system thereby leading to increased heart rate and an increased release of stress hormones, cortisol.

This spirals them into anxious thoughts, panic attacks, and paranoia.

There are several other reasons why weed affects anxiety differently among users;


The ratio of THC and CBD in the weed 

It’s important to understand that not all marijuana is created equal. The major difference is manifested in the levels of THC and CBD in each strain.

Recreational weed tends to have more THC- the active ingredient that causes the ‘’I’m so stoned, man’’ feeling.

High levels of THC have been linked to a cascade of unpleasant feelings including racing thoughts and increased heart rate- what we perceive as anxiety.

CBD, on the other hand, won’t get you high. But it’s non-psychoactive. So, it won’t cause the side effects that THC causes.

In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows that CBD tends to buffer the weed user against the acute side effects of THC.

This technically means that it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too!

If a particular type of weed strain has been causing or worsening your anxiety, you might want to enquire about the ratio of cannabinoids in the weed from your supplier/dispensary.

Ideally, if you want to retain the HIGH while avoiding the side effects, consider something with a balanced ratio of THC and CBD.

On the other hand, if you want to address anxiety with weed, consider a strain that is rich in CBD.


A unique experience for everyone 

While THC has a reportedly high potential of causing anxiety and panic attacks, it’s important to note that weed affects people differently. The experience also tends to be different each time.

Having said that, it is basically hard to predict how weed will make you feel if you are planning to take it for the first time. So, there’s only one way to find out; giving it a trial.

We’ve heard of so many first-timers who report that they didn’t feel a thing.

One possible explanation for this is that most first-time smokers tend to project too many expectations from the stories they have heard from other smokers.

Thus, the fact that they don’t know what to expect exactly makes it easy for them to miss what is happening.

This ‘nothing happened’ of first-time weed smokers has also been theorized that the cannabinoid receptors in their brain need some time before they can be stimulated by THC and CBD.

On the other hand, some first-timers swear never to do weed again after their very first hit gives them what feels like a heart attack.

This is probably because they don’t know what to experience.

Therefore, the experience manifests itself in a much more powerful and overwhelming manner.

This might cause what most people would interpret as anxiety thereby leading them to abandon weed completely.


Does marijuana help with anxiety?

The increased legalization of recreational and medical marijuana has brought with it an increased number of people who rely on pot to manage their overwhelming anxiety.

The main reason why most people believe that weed works this way is because of its calming effects.

All the studies that have been carried out around this topic seem to have contradicting information; some claim that weed lowers anxiety while others suggest that it heightens these feelings.

The Ultimate Guide To Marijuana And Anxiety

Opposing the claims that marijuana (with high levels of THC) does help, several experts argue that individuals who rely on pot to ease anxiety only focus on the short term benefits.

The researchers in the study above say that there is no enough evidence to prove that marijuana is effective in relieving anxiety more so as a long term strategy.

These claims get some sort of support from another study that aimed at identifying the effects of cannabis on mood and anxiety after prolonged use.

This study involved 11,959 subjects who were undergoing psychiatric treatment for various conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and major depression.

Cannabis use among the participants ranged from single-use in the previous month to marijuana use disorder.

The researchers found out that the conditions worsened for the patients who smoked more weed than less-frequent users and non-smokers.

Explaining the results, the researchers argue that when pot is used to manage symptoms of mood and anxiety, it tends to be a ‘Band-Aid’ strategy; that is, it may offer short term relief from acute symptoms, but it tends to worsen the outcomes in the long run.


What about CBD oil- does it help with anxiety?

CBD (cannabidiol) is the second most famous extract of the cannabis plant after THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Cannabidiol oil is edible. It can be used for cooking, added directly to food, or even taken in form of medication by consuming several drops of it.

While there are a lot of studies done on the effectiveness of marijuana (as a whole) in the treatment, the research on the potential benefits of CBD oil only is scanty. However, the preliminary results are promising.

Several clinical results show that this oil is effective in dealing with a wide range of conditions including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety.

One study published in SAGE Journals showed that CBD could help in treating individuals suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD).

SAD is one of the most common types of anxiety that it causes fear when interacting with other people socially.

When the researchers scanned the brain following the consumption of cannabidiol, they detected a change in the flow of blood mainly in the regions that are associated with anxiety.

Another 2011 study involved SAD patients with significantly high levels of anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert.

Image source: https://www.nature.com/articles/npp20116?foxtrotcallback=true

When the patients were treated with a single dose of CBD oil, they exhibited significantly reduced fear when speaking in public- the major symptom of social anxiety disorder.

In yet another recent analysis of previous studies on the same issue, the researchers concluded that cannabidiol oil can be effective in the treatment of different forms of anxiety including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder.


How to Prevent Weed-induced Anxiety

Whether you are a starter or another Snoop Dogg, everyone has his/her ups and downs with pot. There are times when you’ll just get high and chill- pretty much every smoker’s wish.

But at other times, weed from the same dealer or medical marijuana dispensary will leave you freaking out and creating bizarre scenarios that could seem life-threatening at worse.

Here are tips to help you get an actual high while preventing anxiety


Be in a familiar, secure, and comfortable environment

If weed is causing you anxiety, there are high chances that it’s something to do with the environment that you smoke in.

Research shows that the environment has a significant contribution to the way a drug affects someone.

For most people, pot tends to offer much better results, especially in social settings. However, getting too stoned among strangers or people you don’t trust could heighten your suspicion and fears.

If you are trying to hit a joint fast before a colleague, friend, or parent gets home, the chances are that you’ll experience a feeling of being busted.

So, besides making sure that you are in a familiar and secure environment, ensure that you are comfortable too.


Go easy on your dose

Weed has a biphasic response meaning that it can produce completely different effects depending on the dose.

What cannabis can relieve at low dosage can also be amplified if it is taken in high doses.

While more seems better, experts advise starting slow and going slow.

You could consider waiting for at least 10 minutes before the next hit or about 2 hours before eating the next cookie.


Have CBD capsules within reach

One surprising finding of CBD is its ability to neutralize THC-induced anxiety.

CBD can be taken in form of vape or capsule and it’s non-psychotropic meaning that it won’t get you high.

Citicoline supplement also helps in lowering this anxiety. Citicoline is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain.

It is also available as a supplement and can be taken by mouth or as a shot.

This supplement is mainly used for head trauma, stroke, age-related memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma among other illnesses.

While there is insufficient evidence on its interaction with THC, there are claims that it does help in counteracting its negative effects including regulating mood and anxiety.


What to do in case of marijuana-induced anxiety

Most weed users have a time when they experienced a weird high accompanied by episodes of paranoia.

It’s quite paradoxical that this feeling mostly hits people who could benefit from the drug.

Whenever you are in such a situation, just understand your mind is playing tricks on you and the situation isn’t as life-threatening as it seems.

So, resist the urge to dial 911.

In most instances, the experience doesn’t last long.

It will be over in 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how you ingested the cannabis; the effects take longer if you ate it.

It might also be important to open up to a companion if you feel that the feeling is overwhelming.

Once the feeling has subsided, take some time to analyze what might have caused it;

  • How was the environment?
  • Who were you with?
  • Could it be the strain had a high level of THC?
  • What was your state of mind at that time?