Catalyst Cares

We are a Catalyst for Change, creating relationships to push for fair, community-based, progressive efforts in the cannabis industry.
Volunteer with UsCommunity Partners

Our Mission

Catalyst Care’s mission is to bring our “Weed for the People” philosophy beyond our stores and into our surrounding communities. Our core values: Labor, Community, Social Equity, Social Justice and Best Prices will drive our direction to bring equity and accessibility to the cannabis industry, specifically to the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs and the criminalization of cannabis.

We are a Catalyst for Change, creating relationships to push for fair, community-based, progressive efforts in the cannabis industry.

Core Values

Labor

Global bargaining agreement with accretion language, best labor contract in the industry, labor-management partnership & committee, workforce development, and training.

Community

Intentional outreach to uplift the voices of thecommunities we serve.
Arts enrichment programs for youth, city beautification programs like beach clean-ups, community gardens.

Social Justice

Record clearing clinics, all of which we are committedto expand as Catalyst Cannabis Co continues to grow.

Social Equity

Equitable job opportunities, with many of ourstores majority-owned and staffed by Social Equity applicants

Best Prices

#WeedForThePeople

Meet The Team

Catalyst Cares was formed in the middle of social unrest where a need grew for a cannabis operator to be the ‘Catalyst for Change’, and serve as the policy and philanthropic driven arm of leading cannabis retailer, Catalyst Cannabis Co. Read about each team member to see what expertise they brought into this FIGHT FOR CHANGE.
Violeta Aguilar-Wyrick, MPP

Violeta Aguilar-Wyrick, MPP

Chief Equity & External Affairs Officer

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Violeta Aguilar-Wyrick is the Chief Equity & External Affairs Officer at California-based cannabis retailer Catalyst Cannabis Co. With 15 years of work leading successful labor, community outreach, issue-based and electoral campaigns at the regional, state, and federal level, Violeta transitioned to the cannabis industry. As the Chief Equity & External Affairs Officer, Violeta is at the helm of the Catalyst Cares division which executes Catalyst Cannabis Co.’s public policy, political and community outreach work. As the leadership of Catalyst Cares, Violeta and the Catalyst Cannabis Co. have launched vital initiatives that are helping to change the landscape of the cannabis industry by empowering equitable policies and practices as well as championing community led programs which directly help the residents in the communities they serve.
Highlighted initiatives and partnerships include: Leading the expansion of one of the best union cannabis contracts with the UFCW locals throughout the state of California as well as the creation and implementations of Catalyst Cannabis Co Joint Labor Management Committee. Violeta was recently appointed as an employer trustee for the UFCW Health & Welfare Fund, and serves as employer Co-Chair for the Curriculum Development Sub-Committee for the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee Program (JATC). The JATC’s goal is to develop a national high apprenticeship and training standards for the cannabis industry. Under her leadership as Chief Equity and External Affairs Officer Catalyst Cannabis Co, Violeta continues to champion important social equity legislation in the City of Long Beach and beyond. Catalyst recently launched the first Private Sector Social Equity Incubator model called Pusherman Delivery in Long Beach, and has formed partnerships with community-based non-profit organizations up and down the state to activate toy + food drives, community gardens, mural projects, and beautification efforts for the local parks, beaches, and city streets.
Violeta’s philosophy and impetus to work in cannabis is tied to her life experience as a Mexican immigrant and as a labor and community organizer working in politics in Southern California. Her work and clients have included Elizabeth Warren for President campaign, Service Employees International Union Local 121RN, SEIU-UHW, Opportunity PAC, local and state candidates and elected officials. Violeta has received multiple awards and recognitions for her community work including Assembly District 61 Woman of Distinction Award and Riverside County NAACP Salute to Labor Foot Soldier Award.

Elliot Lewis

Elliot Lewis

Founder & CEO

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Elliot Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Catalyst Cannabis Co. a changemaking cannabis company creating an impactful footprint throughout California. Lewis currently owns and operates 7 retail storefronts in Southern California which include locations in – Los Angeles, Long Beach, Bellflower, and Santa Ana with plans for continued expansion into further cities and multi-state operations.

As a Long Beach native and current resident, Elliot helped lead the legal cannabis movement in Long Beach. With an ethos that echoes the “Weed for the People” movement, Lewis’ public persona and loud voice on issues like social equity and cannabis taxes have made him a standout figure in the industry.

Samantha Kohler

Samantha Kohler

Community & Digital Organizer

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Samantha Kohler is the Community & Digital Organizer at Catalyst Cannabis Co. Her career in cannabis began in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. After being displaced from her restaurant marketing job, she started a front desk position at Catalyst Belmont Shore. It took Samantha only a few months to move into a budtender position. In which, she was able to extend her knowledge of the uses and benefits of cannabis. About a year into her time working inside the Catalyst shops, Samantha used her previous marketing experience and current position in cannabis to take on a new role with the community outreach team at Catalyst.

From the Bay Area, Samantha moved to Southern California in 2016 to complete her bachelor’s degree in public relations at California State University, Fullerton. During her education, she interned with a restaurant public relations firm. She was brought on as a full-time employee after graduating, where she was able to further develop her experience in digital marketing and public relations. Growing an online presence for several restaurants and top tier chefs spread around the OC area has allowed Samantha to solidify her skillset, bringing valuable experience to the Catalyst team.

The Community & Digital Organizer position at Catalyst has allowed Samantha to advocate for a space for cannabis in the community. She has promoted a range of positive movements from running call-to-actions that push fair policy, to uplifting communities through partnerships with local non-profit organizations. Volunteer engagement and city beautification efforts have also been a driving factor for her. Samantha’s next initiative is to serve as a member of the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee Program (JATC), and Curriculum Development Sub-Committee to develop a national apprenticeship and training standards for the cannabis industry. Samantha sees her involvement with the JATC as an opportunity to make the cannabis industry accessible to all those she serves in the community.

We are #CatalystForChange & will continue to work for a community that is for EVERYONE.

Get Involved

Catalyst Cares remains focused on not just operating in the communities we move into, but becoming valuable community champions.

Community Events

Community events are for just that, the community! Catalyst Cares gets involved in events that will lift up the communities we serve. We encourage you to attend these events and SHARE with your friends.

Volunteer Needed Events

Get Involved, volunteers are how we show out for the message, #CatalystForChange! These events need volunteers like YOU, to run smoothly and efficiently. Come and meet great people in and out of the cannabis community.

Work With Us

Catalyst Cares is always looking for local organizations to partner with, and community members to work alongside in lifting up the areas our shops run business.

Are you a local organization that would like to partner with our work in the community? Email/Fill out the form below to submit a request for contact.

Catalyst for Compassion

SB-34, approved by California Governor Newson in October 2019, allows legal cannabis businesses to establish a compassion program to donate cannabis products tax-free to low-income medicinal patients.
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New Patient

Click here to apply to the Catalyst for Compassion program.

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Existing Patient

Log-in to the portal to access records and schedule tele-meetings with compassion program team.

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Budtender

Compassion Care Ambassadors are volunteered staff from Catalyst shops who will assist patients and medical staff in assessments and recommendations.

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Healthcare Provider

Catalyst’s Chief of Medical staff and professional healthcare providers will assess patients and medical needs for wellness recommendations.

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See the Latest updates

Stay updated with Catalyst by checking out the latest stories in your local news! Here are a few features Catalyst received in publications that highlights our work in the stores and beyond.

ANOTHER VIEW: Cannabis Providers Step Up to Help

ANOTHER VIEW: Equitable Cannabis Licenses

Study: California’s licensed cannabis shops aren’t selling to minors

Long Beach could soon allow adult-use cannabis dispensaries downtown

Cannabis and Labor team up to help clear criminal records

Elliot Lewis: Competing Against Cannabis Venture Capital in Southern California

A new cannabis delivery service aims to bring more diversity to the Long Beach cannabis industry.

Commission approves Downtown zone change that could allow more cannabis dispensaries

Weed for the People: Catalyst Cannabis focuses on community, equity, and accessibility

UFCW Apprenticeship Programs Set to Strengthen Union Cannabis Jobs