Launched the Oregon Hashish Social Fairness Invoice – MJNews Community

OREGON: Eliminating the harm caused by decades of inequality from the war on drugs is the goal of the Cannabis Social Equity Act, enacted this week by a coalition of lawmakers in Oregon state law. HB 3112 is the culmination of months of work led by former Rep. Akasha Lawrence Spencer, including numerous cannabis companies, the NuLeaf Project, the Oregon Cannabis Association, the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, the City of Portland, the Urban League, and law students from the Willamette University.

“We have come together with a common goal – to reverse and repair some of the damage caused by cannabis criminalization in black, indigenous and Latin American communities in Oregon,” said Rep. Lawrence Spence. “This legislation uses cannabis tax revenue to invest in Oregonians, who have been unjustly attacked by law enforcement for decades, to repair some of the generational harm that has been done to their communities.”

Main sponsors of HB 3112 include representatives Janelle Bynum, Ricki Ruiz, Mark Meek, Julie Fahey and Senators Lew Frederick and Kayse Jama. Current sponsors are the representatives Karin Power, Pam Marsh and Maxine Dexter.

Jeanette Ward Horton, executive director of the NuLeaf project, has worked with the coalition since it was founded eight months ago. The NuLeaf Project receives funding from cannabis tax revenues from the City of Portland and private donations to provide cannabis start-ups with funds, technical assistance, and job placement / training.

“We have seen the damage done to far too many families not to address this problem. Cannabis convictions create challenges that run through families and create difficulties for the children of children whose parents have been disproportionately arrested. The loss of jobs, education grants, housing, and more, all due to a minor conviction for cannabis, has impacted color communities for generations. Today Oregon has an opportunity to reverse some of that damage, ”said Ward-Horton.

The bill contains three important provisions:

  • Direct investments in cannabis companies by blacks, indigenous peoples and Latina / o / x people, as well as in people convicted of cannabis crimes. Creates investments in home ownership and land ownership, professional training, health care, education, and other areas determined by the Cannabis Equity Board.
  • Free, automatic deletion of legitimate criminal convictions for cannabis paid for through cannabis tax revenue when needed. In previous statutes, fewer than 200 out of 28,000 eligible Oregonians have successfully completed the extinction.
  • Equity licenses for black, indigenous and Latina / o / x owned cannabis companies with reduced fees and changed requirements to qualify initially. Allows funding for two OLCC positions to aid the licensing process and includes the addition of three license types beneficial to small business owners.

Main Sponsor and MP Ricki Ruiz said setting the deletion process is a critical part of the legislation.

“Fewer than 200 out of 28,000 Oregonians eligible for expulsion have successfully completed the process in the past two years. We have to do better, ”said Ruiz. “This bill provides us with the path and means we need to efficiently remove previous cannabis crimes from people’s records and enable them to free their lives from the harm caused by the criminalization of cannabis. This is a critical step in restoring the health of these people and the communities in which they live. “

Gabe Parton Lee, General Counsel at Wyld, led the design of the automatic erasure process

“What we see clearly is that those who are still destructive after the cannabis ban has been the least beneficiary of legalizing cannabis. Instead, we see a rapidly growing industry that has largely left behind the people and communities who have suffered disproportionately from the criminalization of cannabis, ”said Parton Lee, General Counsel of Wyld. “We advocate using cannabis taxpayers’ money to address some of these long-standing inequality issues and enable direct investments in the people and neighborhoods hardest hit by the cannabis ban.”

Rep. Julie Fahey was instrumental in drafting the law when she passed a law in 2019 calling for a working group to develop a cannabis social justice program.

“These efforts have brought together a diverse group of advocates, business owners and industry partners to develop one of the most comprehensive equity calculations in the country – breaking barriers for BIPOC Oregoners and investing in the communities hardest hit by cannabis crime. The cannabis industry is a driver of economic opportunity for entrepreneurs in our state, and this bill will help provide those harmed by the war on drugs with access to those opportunities, ”Fahey said.

A coalition of cannabis companies and trade groups, including the Oregon Cannabis Association, the Oregon Industry Progress Association, and the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, have all come together on this piece of legislation as the central cannabis bill for the 2021 session. Main sponsors include Groundworks Industries, Wyld, Wana, and Dutchie, as well as dozens of other cannabis companies, law firms, and others who support the effort.

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