EQUITY DAY ONE

#EQUITYDAYONE NEW YORK

  • People of color and the formerly incarcerated should be able to grow wealth in this industry, not be limited to fewer licenses than the existing large, corporate license holders.
  • The existing medical license holders shouldn’t be able to buy a fastrack into the industry before communities who were harmed by the war on drugs are even at the start line.
  • Incubators should be used to build pathways from the informal economy to the new legalized economy and invite investment into communities harmed by the war on drugs.
  • Auto-vacate cannabis related offenses before the industry starts, provide support for re-entry and pathways into the legalized economy, and DO NOT recriminalize in the legalized industry.
  • Allocate 86% of reinvestment funds explicitly for communities of color and communities harmed by the war on drugs because 86% of cannabis related arrests were of people of color

 

Explanations

1. People of color and the formerly incarcerated should be able to grow wealth in this industry, not be limited to fewer licenses than the existing large, corporate license holder.

    • The cap on horizontal licenses for companies was put in place to stop the monopolization of the industry by the few, but it unintentionally stifles the growth of equity companies and capital flow into communities of color.  Instead, there shouldn’t be a cap on horizontal licenses for equity eligible applicants.  This would limit large corporates but not inhibit the growth and capital flow for communties of color and those who are trying to rebuild from the war on drugs.  In addition to protect amongst corporate monopolization, equity licensees should not be able to sell their license to a non equity eligible licensee holder without state permission.
    • Investors should be able to invest in equity eligible companies in minority shares (max 30% equity) to invite capital into communities of color and invest in owners from communities harmed by the war on drugs, rather than dissuade it.
    • The current proposal dissuades capital and makes equity eligible applicants reliant on state sources of funds when it puts a cap on the number of horizontal licenses a company can have or be invested in at 3.
    • The horizontal cap of 3 per company is less than the existing large, white corporate medical marijuana license holders start out with, and in addition the existing license holders are able to retain their vertical licenses to produce, manufacture, and sell, while the communities of color are left behind without this advantage.  Existing license holders shouldn’t be able to keep their vertical licenses– it gives them an inherent leg up in the industry.

2. There MUST be #EquityDayOne .  The existing medical license holders shouldn’t be able to buy a fastrack into the industry before communities who were harmed by the war on drugs are even at the start line.

    • In the current proposal, there would be NO ownership by people of color at the inception of this industry.  That is unacceptable.
    • Equitable access and real pathways into the formal economy for overcriminalized communities will strengthen the economy.  If there are not equitable pathways into the industry from the informal economy to the new legalized economy then the informal economy will stay strong.  This has been an issue in California where they are having to consider tax cuts to the industry to jump start the legalized economy because they delayed equity.
    • There should be no auction and no ability for large corporates to start ahead of everyone else.
    • Equity eligible applicants should be given ample time and resources to launch their companies to compete day one in the industry.
    • Training programs and incubators should be helping transition those currently incarcerated on cannabis related offenses, and those formerly incarcerated into jobs at every level of this industry– they are already a skilled workforce in this industry, let’s set them up for success.
    • This industry should be open to those with multiple felonies.  Cannabis was used as probable cause for multiple charges oftentimes.

3. Industry-led incubators are the most effective way for us to successfully grow a strong industry.  They should be used to build pathways from the informal economy to the new legalized economy and invite investment into communities harmed by the war on drugs.

      • They can and should be used to build the pathways for communities from the informal economy to the new legalized economy.
      • The most successful models of incubators are those that are supported by the state but run by experienced industry professionals and provide real pathways into the industry.
      • The current cap on horizontal licenses would limit industry incubation programs, pathways for equity eligible companies, and investment.  This cap must be lifted and equity eligible companies should be able to join.

4. Auto-vacate cannabis related offenses before the industry starts, provide support for re-entry and pathways into the legalized economy, and DO NOT recriminalize in the legalized industry.

    • Fully fund auto-vacature of cannabis related arrests and convictions AND ensure those who have multiple charges are able to plea down to a lower sentence.
    • Provide full re-entry support services to those returning including access to healthcare, housing, education, employment, and business ownership
    • Decriminalization should be across all agencies and age groups.  E.g. juveniles should not be seen as violating their probation if they test positive for cannabis.
    • The industry should be open to those with previous felonies (incl multiple felonies)
    • The reinvestment dollars from this industry should not go into the same failed policies of over criminalization for law enforcement, instead we should invest in real pathways for people from the informal economy to be in the legalized one

5. Allocate 86% of reinvestment funds explicitly for communities of color and communities harmed by the war on drugs because 86% of cannabis related arrests were of people of color.

  • 86% of those arrested on cannabis related offenses were people of color, so they should be invested in at commensurate rates as the harm from the war on drugs.

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    Download the letter to send to your legislator.

    What to do now

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

     

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