There is no 1-size-fits-all strategy to addressing equity and diversity in the marijuana sector.
Although a increasing quantity of states have incorporated social equity provisions in their marijuana applications, they’re approaching the challenge in a range of strategies – with varying benefits.
On the recreational side of the sector, California, Illinois and Massachusetts all produced social equity a crucial element of marijuana legalization.
Initiatives in each and every of these states are attempting to attain men and women who have been economically disadvantaged, disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs or each.
On the other hand, Massachusetts’ system has hit quite a few speed bumps, and the state reports that only 1.two% of marijuana firms are owned by minorities.
That stands in contrast to earlier social equity initiatives adopted in Ohio’s health-related industry, exactly where the law mandated that 15% of licenses go to racial minorities – a rule that was ultimately located unconstitutional.
Prior to that ruling, nonetheless, licenses have been currently issued and the state saw a substantial increase in minority participation – resulting in far more than 16% of licenses held by minorities.
In Oklahoma’s health-related industry, social equity was not aspect of the state’s legalization bill, but quite low licensing charges and no caps on the quantity of cannabis small business licenses that can be issued has lowered barriers to entry – and some sector specialists think this could do far more to market diversity than other, far more targeted outreach efforts.
Markets devoid of substantial statewide equity provisions – such as Oregon – have noticed some cities step up to tackle the challenge.
For instance, firms in Portland whose owners or employees have prior marijuana convictions are eligible for lowered license charges, and a city marijuana sales tax was place in location in 2016 to create funds for financial and education applications in communities exactly where drug laws have been disproportionately enforced.
Various states, such as Maine and Missouri, are nevertheless hammering out the particulars of their marijuana applications.
Although no social equity provisions have been created in these states however, they could emerge prior to sales get underway.
Additional information about how social equity efforts are faring across quite a few markets in the U.S. and an overview of the barriers faced by females and minorities hunting to enter the cannabis sector can be located in Marijuana Enterprise Daily’s not too long ago released report, Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Market.
Eli McVey can be reached at [email protected]