Even as cannabis companies are making lots of noise about their social equity actions, Republicans are quickly moving to strip out any efforts to level the playing field. The latest move is by Virginia’s legislation. The state’s SB107 was filed on January 6 and is scheduled to be offered on January 12, 2022. What is notable about the legislation is that 30% of the tax revenue was originally carved out to go to the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund established pursuant to § 2.2-2499.8 and instead is being directed to the general fund. Sources told Green Market Report that legislators were calling the program, “give a felon a license.” Paul McLean of the Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition one of the most respected new voices within the Virginian cannabis industry said, “The SB107 appears to be the first move in dismantling social equity in Virginia. Having funding is essential to the success of an equity program, and eliminating that funding is a slap in the face to those who have worked so hard to ensure Virginia has a healthy and equitable cannabis market. Part of what VMCC is doing with our boot camps is providing funding connections to graduates because of the systemic lack of funding opportunities overall and primarily Black and Brown entrepreneurs, especially those impacted by the war on drugs. We know that our elected officials can do better, and Virginians must demand they do what is fair for their constituents.” The fund was created in the state treasury as a special nonreverting fund that was to be used to help those affected by the drug wars and that any leftover money was specifically not to go to the general fund.
Green Market Report, 01/10/2022 10:14:00
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