Sunday, June 27, 2021
The title of this post is the title of this notable new report authored by Janessa Bailey with Leafly. I recommend the full report's explanation, accounting and scoring of various aspect of social equity in cannabis reform. Here is how the report gets started:
Over the past decade, cannabis legalization has offered new economic opportunities to hundreds of thousands of people across the United States. But those opportunities have not been extended to all Americans.
In the nine years since Colorado and Washington first legalized marijuana for all adults, we’ve learned that past inequities and current barriers aren’t erased by simply declaring cannabis legal.
The systems of discrimination built into 80 years of prohibition won’t be erased by hope and wishful thinking. Their dismantling requires proactive steps on the part of state and municipal policymakers.
Cannabis is the nation’s fastest-growing industry. As of June 2021, 38 states have some form of legalized cannabis, with 19 states and Washington, DC, allowing legal use for all adults. The $18.3 billion dollar industry now supports 321,000 full-time American jobs, and cannabis entrepreneurship and employment have exploded over the past five years.
But as legalization and the growing cannabis industry have expanded, it has become increasingly clear that opportunities in cannabis are not fairly accessible to all Americans.
Seeds of Change offers eight strategies to create a fair and equitable cannabis industry, assesses each legal adult-use state on its implementation of those strategies, and illuminates the often-hidden barriers that contribute to the current disparities in cannabis.
In other words: Here’s what’s needed, here’s how legal states are doing, and here’s why these strategies are necessary.