the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) The National Cannabis Rights Report and National Cannabis Rights Map is set to release on February 10 to present the data it has collected on social justice programs across the country, and MCBA Executive Director Amber Littlejohn said the data paints a bleak picture of social justice in the industry.
“When you start to look beyond these social justice provisions, you begin to see how these merit-based selection and lottery systems have inequalities and barriers to entry in more subtle and quieter ways,” she told Cannabis Business Times. “We really hope this will be an opportunity to think about the industry as a whole about how they align their values with their actions.”
The National Cannabis Rights Report and the National Cannabis Rights Map are made possible with the support of ArcView مجموعة group And in association with Weed Maps And Parallel, providing important data from social justice programs, as well as other policies that affect equity in Medicare markets and adult use at the state and municipal levels.
Littlejohn said the project was initially inspired by the questions she’s received in the two years since she began leading the MCBA.
“One of the most common questions I’ve had over the past two years since I’ve been with the MCBA – nearly three years now – is how many social justice programs are there and what do they do?” She said. “The project originally started with our desire to look at all the social justice programs and understand what programs did what and I was able to give an overview so that people could see what was there and what was done.”
When the organization began doing the research, it quickly realized that the end result would not be the tool the MCBA originally envisioned.
“When we really started doing the research, we realized that if we were only looking at social justice programs and the provisions that exist within social justice programs, this tool wouldn’t be very useful as a tool for change because, said Little John, “we all know that none of the programs work to achieve Equality in practice.” “There are elements of programs that work, but none of them work holistically to create a fair and sustainable industry.”
The MCBA team then decided to analyze 40 different data points, looking beyond social justice programs and into factors such as the number of licenses, subscriptions, premises requirements, and how the expansion of the medical cannabis program into an adult use market affects equity in the industry.
David Abernathy, Director of ArcView, sits on the MCBA Board of Directors and connects the two institutions. ArcView then agreed to help organize and present the data, while Weedmaps stepped in to help with a digital component of search.
“Alongside the report, we have a map of social justice, where you can click on a state and then look at the provisions that are within that state,” Little John said.
The MCBA has identified seven primary conclusions from the research that it asks advocates and legislators to consider when re-examining government social justice programs:
- The number and effectiveness of the state’s social justice programs do not reflect what has been expressed
Commitment to achieving justice through cannabis.
- No non-racial criteria were used in social justice qualifications and definitions
It resulted in diverse cannabis markets.
- Despite the evidence supporting the aforementioned concerns, many countries continue to benefit from the state level
Licensing ceiling to limit state markets which leads to a lack of diversity and spread
- Of the few social justice programs that provide funding, fewer still provide access to it
Timely funding for social justice applicants and licensees.
- Building insurance requirements before issuing a license or conditional license
Continue to present a significant barrier to entry for social equity operators.
- The ban on ownership by individuals with previous convictions for cannabis still prevails in
State legal cannabis programs.
- Inequality in current medical markets leads to inequality in markets for adult use.
“I think something we’ve overlooked is the way inequality in the medical market affects inequality in the adult use market,” Little John said. “For example, the inability of people with many convictions to own, operate or even work in medical facilities – something that is relaying. Moreover, medical workers often get early market access before anyone else, and then we see a pattern From lawsuits that delay entry to anyone else and prolong the first-mover advantage of incumbent medical operators.We see things like opt-outs and opt-outs and land use where they essentially create and facilitate oligopoly because the only people allowed to operate in the adult use market are the entities that It was previously on the medical market.”
Another example, she said, is the vertical integration ban that excludes the medical cannabis trade.
“These are things that, when you look at them cumulatively, say, ‘Wow, no wonder it’s a struggle for everyone else,'” Little John said. [of the report]. ”
Another surprising area of the data, she said, is that in essence, many social justice programs do not provide priority licensing and funding to social justice applicants and licensees to help them physically enter the market.
“None of the programs that were rolled out provided funding at the time the adult use program started,” Little John said. This means that any support for social equity operators comes after everyone else has had a chance to enter the market. Even in California, where funding does not depend on revenue from adult use, this did not really start until after the adult use market had already started. and then, [in other states], the funds are dependent either on providing early access to another person or directly on taxes and other fees. Therefore, we are really seriously lacking in support for operators and entrepreneurs who are already looking to enter the industry.”
So what, if anything, does well in social justice programs, based on MCBA research?
Littlejohn said markets without statewide licensing limits tend to present more opportunities for social justice applicants, as do those with compliance-based application processes that allow anyone who meets the requirements to obtain a license.
She said that merit-based, lottery, mixed licensing systems based on merit and lottery in limited markets “are a recipe for exclusion.” “As you begin to look beyond these provisions of social justice, you begin to see how these systems of merit-based selection and lottery have the inequalities and barriers to entry in more subtle, subtle ways.”
Going forward, Littlejohn hopes the industry can use the report as a research and advocacy tool.
“It’s something that journalists can use to answer questions and do their own research to see where they should look to find answers to advocates’ questions to be able to look at what’s happening in different countries and how we can actually do it,” she said.
Littlejohn also hopes that others can take the key data in the report and use it to build more tools that can help shape policy.
MCBA is in the process of completing its update exemplary state policy To determine what you see as the ideal solutions for states looking to reform their cannabis policy.
“Over the past two years, we’ve had a kind of recommitment to ensuring that social justice and equity are part of the cannabis industry,” Little John said. “Unfortunately, what we see is that the expressed opinions, ideas and convictions are not aligned with the policies put forward at the state level. If you are advocating for a very limited market that creates an oligopoly, you are not advocating for diversity and inclusion in the cannabis industry. So, the two are not identical. We will. Really inviting the industry and calling on our advocates and partners to truly hold the industry accountable to make sure that what we say are our values is actually reflected in the policies we support nationwide.”