Although white business investors and proprietors have overwhelmingly dominated Colorado’s marijuana sector, the market’s missing diversity may soon change.
New state and local efforts are moving ahead to provide industry opportunities for black and brown communities disproportionately affected by the futile Drug War.
Michael Hancock, Denver’s Mayor, approved sweeping changes on the unofficial 4/20 marijuana holiday to the area’s cannabis regulation since adult-use cannabis sales were authorized in 2014.
The three reforms will permit cannabis tour buses and bars, authorize marijuana delivery, and accept new cultivation and retail license applications. The reforms give preferences and, in some instances, exclusive access to applicants of social equity, who Colorado’s administration defines as folks who have past marijuana-related convictions before the legalization or individuals residing in low-income homes or vulnerable areas.
SMART Colorado’s president, Henny Lesly, stated that the coalition is worried that increasing the number of cannabis retail places could cause a surge in underage use. SMART Colorado is a non-profit group that advocates for children’s protection from possible cannabis risks.
Experts say that equitable progress in the marijuana hospitality sector might be stalled by the license buffers needed between every store and child care institution, rec center, school, and so on.
Sarah Woodson (the Color of Cannabis’ founder) said that 10.1 miles of space would essentially be available. Whatever remains is what the current industry found worthless.
There are significant state-level efforts to level the marijuana landscape. Governor Polis Jared allocated $4 million in April to launch a social equity cannabis fund for business candidates who meet/exceed particular qualifications. The 1090 House Bill was also introduced in 2021 and would remove cannabis felonies for possession of not more than two ounces.
Last year, Jared pardoned about 3,000 convictions of minor marijuana felonies through an executive mandate after passing a reform that offered him the power of mass pardon.