March 12, 2019
By Martin Berman-Gorvine
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A coalition of groups supporting a legalized marijuana industry has developed a model municipal ordinance to promote minority-owned businesses in this field, where and when it becomes legal.
The groups that produced the draft are the Minority Cannabis Business Association, the National Cannabis Industry Association and the Drug Policy Alliance. Attorneys and drug policy reform advocates worked on the draft with input from attendees at last October’s MCBA’s Annual Policy Summit in Oakland, Calif., which was co-hosted by Supernova Women, an organization for women of color in the cannabis industry.
“It is incredibly important that we lay the groundwork for a diverse and inclusive cannabis industry,” said Rodney Holcombe, staff attorney at DPA, in an article published by news and information platform New Cannabis Ventures. “Our model ordinance is one of many steps needed to ensure that legalization benefits all communities, especially those most impacted by decades of prohibition and criminalization.”
To that end, the model ordinance calls for “priority licensing, access to capital, and technical assistance for confirmed equity applicants, as well as general applicants incubating a cannabis business owned by an equity applicant,” the statement said. “Equity” is defined by a formula that includes factors such as having a low income and being a member of a family, or from a neighborhood, disproportionately affected by cannabis-related arrests.
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