Legalization of marijuana (cannabis) across states in the US has led to a rollback of prohibition. Cannabis prohibition was started in the 1930s as the result of racism, greed and bias. So legalization of cannabis across states is a good thing, right?
Not everyone thinks so.
Ask Ed Forchion (aka NJ Weedman). Ed Forchion recently wrote:
The industry in being formed largely by politically connected rich Caucasians who aren’t even part of the marijuana culture. I call them ‘cannabaggers’.
These two politicians and the cannabaggers are making the new marijuana industry laws to cater to these cannabaggers exclusively. Neither I nor most minorities who were victimized by the current marijuana laws can’t participate or even fill out a application for a job or to get ownership in the proposed industry. … Why must we be millionaires to sell it?”
Ask Jessica Bartlett of the Boston Business Journal, who writes:
Medical marijuana advocates are concerned the state isn’t doing enough to make the medical program on par with the recreational one, differences that may cripple the medical industry just as the recreational one is getting off the ground.
Ask local community leaders who were promised profit sharing and community investment.
Ask minority team applicants who disappeared from the business in less than a year after helping companies receive permits in states with “diversity points” on the application.
Legalization brought revenue to state coffers, provided safe distribution points and (hopefully) safer product. But the newly legal industry is falling short on so many other promises.
In 2015, I wrote about dreams for the emerging cannabis industry in my home state of PA.
I am hoping that PA adopts a policy of licensing that isn’t prohibitively expensive for small business. I envision a thriving industry with small, medium and large providers akin to the beer market. Individuals could grow their own, limited supply for personal use. Craft cultivators can specialize in strains that serve specific medical conditions (ala Charlotte’s Web strain for children) or deliver specific effects (e.g. energizing or stress relief). Large producers can benefit from an economy of scale to bring prices down.
Social equity conversations are happening today. They are exploring issues of community impact, patient advocacy, social justice and worker’s rights. Yet these conversations are often isolated and limited to a group of activists. At Soulful Cannabis, we want to help unite these voices and to amplify them in a way that leads to action and positive change.
The cannabis plant holds so much promise for our future… lets make sure it reaches its full potential!