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Meet Ekstrepe, the Social Equity Cannabis Brand Backed by Industry Powerplayer KeefX.co

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As cannabis legalization continues to expand across the United States, an unfortunate trend concerning racial disparity throughout the market has emerged. According to public policy research center American Progress, black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts, despite the two demographics consuming cannabis at similar rates. Meanwhile, statistics from 2017 report that more than 81 percent of marijuana-focused businesses are operated by white people, demonstrating the pervasive trend in the United States to punish minorities for cannabis use, while white people are given the opportunity to make a huge profit with near impunity. Enter Ekstrepe, a minority-run social equity cannabis brand backed by industry disrupting fintech company KeefX.co, with the aims of leveling the playing field and creating opportunities for all.

Well known in the cannabis industry for its quick provision of working capital solutions and insurance options to Growers, KeefX.co has become a trusted source for timely payments with its unrivaled relationships with financial institutions. When Ekstrepe emerged onto the scene as a social equity-based cultural platform for the marijuana industry, the minds behind KeefX.co knew they needed to get involved and use their capital providing prowess for good.

“KeefX recently launched a social equity micro-funding division headed up by Hollis Doherty,” said KeefX.co founder Isaac “Yitz” Klein. “Hollis is passionate about micro finance and gave a TedX talk on the subject a number of years ago. When Hollis joined KeefX she really wanted to make a social impact through finance; our company’s mantra and focus was the same.”

“We usually provide capital to companies that have been in business for a while,” elaborated Klein. “Through KeefX’s micro-funding division, our focus narrows to companies in startup mode with certain infrastructure already developed. So we consider this micro-seeding a company that will launch with extremely low overhead compared to the sales it may be able to generate. Ekstrepe fits the profile also because we are wanting to provide capital to impact driven companies. Working with folks that spent time locked-up, building a community connection through a brand and product; to us, that’s the point.” 

For Ekstrepe, KeefX’s likeminded goals have been the perfect fit for its growth. In its fight for equality, the Long Beach, California-based brand has made it its mission to dismantle the damage done by the War on Drugs by directly empowering racial minorities through employment opportunities in the cannabis industry and simultaneously educating the uninformed. The brand likewise disrupts the traditional marijuana supply chain by sourcing the highest quality products available, while including the disenfranchised population of Long Beach in the process.

Ekstrepe President Edgar Cruz knows a thing or two about cannabis inequality himself; after a run in with the law as a minor that resulted in a marijuana-related arrest, Cruz committed himself and his future to the fight for justice within the industry for people like himself. Now, Cruz brings his experience in financial management and business operation to Ekstrepe, taking it beyond just a cannabis company and turning it into a social equity lifestyle brand that gives back to undeveloped communities.

The direct impact of Ekstrepe’s sincere mission is clear, purposefully changing the lives of the people of Long Beach for the better one day at a time. These significant achievements have since inspired KeefX.co to expand its own financial outreach into social equity and continue the work to equalize the cannabis industry.

“Through our partnership with Ekstrepe we anticipate additional opportunities to organically appear and our hope is to grow this division and therefore have the ability to make a social impact,” continued Klein. “Not only by finding companies that are creating jobs but also by working with the people that are part of the community and understand what it needs in order to grow.”

With the marijuana industry projected to pull in $43 billion by 2025, the wealth inequality between marginalized groups persecuted for possession and the affluent cannabis business owners could likewise grow in tandem — just not if Ekstrepe and KeefX.co have anything to say about it.

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