Colorado’s Cannabis Social Equity Bill
Things are looking different in the United States, and a lot of issues have been uprooted that were ignored for a very long time. The cannabis industry has not gone untouched by this; a lot of positive changes and legislations are coming about to provide support for underprivileged consumers and producers, and the Colorado Cannabis Social Equity Bill is one of those changes.
So, what exactly does this new legislation entail? Jared Polis signed a new law that sets aside business licenses for social equity applicants while allowing low-level cannabis possession pardons.
This is monumental in the fight for equality within the cannabis industry because POC are disproportionately affected by marijuana possession-related arrests and incarcerations.
Colorado Cannabis Social Equity Bill
“For decades now the Black community has been disproportionately criminalized, because of marijuana, while others have profited. We’ve needed to act on this injustice and disparity for decades, and there are people standing here who have been speaking, acting, advocating and pushing for this very moment for decades,” said a representative at a press conference in regard to the legislation that was held in late June.
This new legislation gives the Colorado governor the power to pardon cannabis possession cases of up to two ounces that occurred before legalization within the state.
Additionally, a person can apply for this social equity license, as long as they either: meet household income requirements; were arrested for a cannabis offense; had a parent, guardian, spouse, sibling, or child arrested for a cannabis offense, lived at least 15 years between 1980 and 2010 in an area disproportionately affected by the drug war, or had their assets seized because of a cannabis investigation.
More specifically, those that are granted this social equity license can together own a majority stake as long as more than 51% ownership belongs to the social equity licensee(s). Financial aid may also be available from the state.
Hopefully, this type of legislation, that looks out for minority members and POC within the cannabis industry, will become more common within the United States in the next couple of months.