What is cannabis equity?
Cannabis Equity is a movement advocating for racial and economic equity in cannabis. Both qualitative and quantitative data proves that cannabis criminalization and enforcement has negatively impacted communities of color at disproportionate rates, in the masses, and for generations. Cannabis equity means prioritizing racial and economic equity prior to, and during, cannabis legalization and regulation.
Although its been proven that people of color consume, manufacture, and distribute cannabis at similar rates than white people, they are far more likely to be arrested. Criminal records affect ones access to education, employment and housing, resulting in generational trauma and poverty. The economic benefits of the cannabis industry must be, first and foremost, reinvested in the communities most negatively impacted by cannabis enforcement, before they are utilized for anything else.
THE RACIST HISTORY OF CANNABIS CRIMINALIZATION & DRUG ENFORCEMENT IN AMERICA
What are Cannabis Equity Permit Programs?
Cannabis equity permit programs, originating in Oakland, California in 2016, are permitting programs designed to repair some of the damages caused by past cannabis enforcement. They are appearing throughout jurisdictions in California and in other states as well. These programs usually consist of specific applicant criteria based on cannabis arrest rates, poverty and unemployment rates. These equity applicants receive financial and technical assistance for transitioning to, or embarking in, the cannabis industry. These initiatives also assist in cannabis-related criminal record expungement. They also include models of community reinvestment and workforce development.