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JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING CANNABIS AND EQUITY

NYS and Governor Cuomo are moving toward full legalization of cannabis by April.  When we do, New York will become the 2nd largest cannabis market in the nation and the new gold standard other states look to.  This will mean billions of dollars both in the industry as well as reinvestment from the tax revenues that could help transform our communities who were harmed by the war on drugs if the industry is regulated equitably.

The time is now to act as one and ensure communities of color and formerly incarcerated communities aren’t left behind and receive equitable access to jobs and small business ownership at the foundation of this growing industry.  We ask leaders to sign on to these points and be vocal, activating their respective communities with their elected officials:

  1. Decriminalization should not only automatically vacate all cannabis related charges, it should also provide expanded re-entry services to those harmed. The formerly incarcerated deserve pathways to education, employment, ownership, and access to capital in the industry. The legalized cannabis industry will be it’s strongest when entrepreneurs and small business owners from informal economies have transitional pathways into the legalized market.
  2. Communities harmed by the war on drugs deserve true equity in the legalized industry including equitable access to licenses, business development support, and capital for small business ownership, jobs and job training, board and committee positions, reinvestment dollars from taxes and registered operations, and investment opportunities.
  3. Current operating license holders from the medical marijuana industry should not be given a fast track into the industry before the rest of the community is even at the start line. The best chance for those who have been harmed by the war on drugs to succeed in this industry is for there to be equity day one– companies with existing licenses should have to apply for licenses just like everyone else so there can be equitable access.
  4. 86% of tax revenue should be reinvested into historically over criminalized communities because 86% of people arrested for marijuana related charges were people of color.  This investment will help them repair the harm done from the war on drugs via tax revenue as well as reinvestment funds from companies in the industry.  

New York has the responsibility to address the needs of our communities harmed by the war on drugs in regulation and reinvestment.  As leaders in the community we will fight so that no one is left behind and no one gets a headstart before the communities harmed by the criminalization of cannabis are even at the start line.  We hope you will join us.

Download the letter to send to your legislator.

What to do now

  1. Download the letter.
  2. Personalize it with the name of your Assemblyperson and/or Senator, fill in your contact info, e-sign or print and sign.
  3. For hardcopy, be sure to include your name and address on the envelope.
  4. Not sure who to send your letter to? Enter your address to locate your legislators using the buttons to the right.

Together we can make the cannabis industry unlike any before it.

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