Keywords: Cannabis / Policy / Social Equity / Community News
CANNABIS INDUSTRY LEADERS PROPOSE SOCIAL EQUITY PROVISIONS FOR THE SMART AND SAFE ARIZONA ACT
February 11, 2021; Phoenix, AZ— Led by attorney Jerry Chesler, a coalition of cannabis industry leaders have offered the Arizona Department of Health Services a comprehensive plan that defines social equity under The Smart and Safe Arizona Act.
The act mandates that 26 cannabis licenses be social equity licenses awarded to targeted groups and disproportionately impacted communities, however it did little to succinctly define who qualifies for these coveted licenses.
The data driven plan sent to DHS was created by talking with individuals who live in the communities that social equity should cover, exploring what worked and didn’t work in other states and with cannabis leaders in Arizona. The resulting provisions are designed not only to create standards in Arizona, but for those standards to become a model for other states to follow in the future.
“The rising cannabis industry has an opportunity address some of the inequities of the failed War on Drugs. Considering the lasting damage from prosecuting “crimes” that are now legal, we MUST act,” said Chesler. “These proposals attempt to aim the benefits of the industry to those who have been harmed by the War on Drugs, rather than letting the rich get richer.”
The Social Equity plan presented to DHS is organized around three guiding principles:
- Focusing on communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs
- Lowering the barriers for entry into the legal cannabis industry for members of those impacted communities
- Focusing the benefits of Arizona’s legal cannabis industry on those disproportionately impacted communities, ensuring minority participation
For more information on the plan or to learn more about social equity and cannabis interviews with Jerry Chesler are available. Please contact me at email@example.com