What will it take to effectively put equity first in a legal marijuana market? That’s a question a former Massachusetts cannabis regulator is seeking to answer in a new research paper. While lawmakers have studied and enacted marijuana policies meant to reinvest in communities most impacted by the war on drugs, and encourage marginalized people to participate in the industry, no legal state has fully achieved equity so far, Shaleen Title argued in the Ohio State University paper published last week. But as state cannabis experiments continue to evolve, “we are seeing remarkable progress with respect to the involvement, inclusion, and support of people who have experienced disproportionate harm from prohibition,” Title, who now serves as distinguished cannabis policy practitioner in residence at Ohio State University’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center. And there are plenty of lessons to be learned and incorporated as the legalization movement expands. There are three central considerations that regulators should take into account, her paper argues: How to define social equity applicants, what kind of benefits should be afforded to those businesses, and how to craft licensing priorities that put disadvantaged communities first.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/13/2021 08:52:00