Arizona Introduces Social Fairness Courses for Hashish Firms |

Classes are now underway for some potential marijuana dispensary owners in Arizona. That is, social justice class.

It is a provision included in the vote that last year voters in the state legalized the use of adult recreational pots. The measure, Proposition 207, called on the state to “encourage the ownership and operation of marijuana facilities and marijuana testing facilities by individuals in communities disproportionately affected by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.”

What this means in practice: The Arizona Department of Health is granting 26 pharmacy licenses to individuals in communities particularly hard hit by longstanding anti-pot laws.

The department overseeing the implementation of the new recreational marijuana program will be accepting applications for these licenses December 1-14, and a random lottery will determine who will receive the licenses.

As part of the application process, the department requires these applicants to take courses “to ensure that social justice applicants are prepared for the application process and the challenges of running a marijuana business.”

According to the department, the courses are given by industry experts and “include two days of content and training focused on a number of aspects of running an adult marijuana business, including legal requirements, business practices, regulatory compliance and fundraising and marketing and strategic growth. “

“The social justice program is designed to promote the ownership and operation of licensed marijuana facilities by individuals in communities disproportionately affected by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws,” the Department of Health said.

“Social equity license holders must comply with all laws and rules that govern adult marijuana facility licensing, including obtaining an operating permit prior to opening their retail location. In addition, social justice license holders must develop and implement guidelines to document how the marijuana facility will benefit one or more communities disproportionately affected by enforcement of previous Arizona marijuana laws. ”

The Arizona Social Justice Program is just one example of how states legalize marijuana and recognize the communities that have long been hurt most by the ban. In Nevada, where cannabis has been legal since 2017, lawmakers recently agreed to allow lounges for cannabis use as long as at least half of the first 20 licenses for the facilities are granted to social justice applicants.

But Arizona’s social justice efforts have drawn some critics who say the program could be ripe for exploitation as there are no restrictions on how licenses can be transferred.

Applicants for the Arizona social justice marijuana program must meet three of four criteria, according to the state health department: have a household income of “less than 400 percent of the state poverty line for at least three of the last five years”; “Has been compromised by enforcement of previous marijuana laws” because he or she “has the right to request deletion” or “Has been convicted of federal or state marijuana-related law in Arizona and does not have an excluded capital crime.” “; “Has been compromised by enforcement of previous marijuana laws because the individual is related to another person convicted of federal or state law relating to marijuana in Arizona”; and has “a physical address and has lived at that address for at least three of the past five years in a community that the Department deemed disproportionate to enforcement of previous Arizona marijuana laws.”

The admission requirements were set by the department in June; the random selection is to take place in the spring of next year.

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