Marijuana Social Fairness: Seeds Planted, However Do They Develop?

Among the various cannabis legalization plans proposed in the United States, social justice has been a primary goal of many of these plans. With the adoption of such legalization proposals, one would assume that the legislators of these legalization programs would keep the promises of social justice.

But how successfully have the states that legalized cannabis kept their promises of social justice? If you look at the states that have legalized cannabis, the promises made on the campaign trail seem far removed from the current circumstances. The slow adoption of licenses has hampered attempts to ensure social justice through the cannabis industry.

New York, Nevada, Colorado, Washington among states that have not yet fully adopted cannabis social justice programs

Proponents of New York legalization vowed to give half of all state licenses to companies operating in communities hardest hit by the war on drugs. In reality, however, they still have close to providing licenses to such companies.

Nevada is currently facing similar challenges. In a state with a 30% Latino and 10% black population, only a handful of representatives from the two communities were members of the state cannabis industry board, 7% of the Latino members and 2% blacks.

This is seen even in states that legalized recreational marijuana earlier than others. Among the states to fully legalize marijuana, Colorado and Washington were among the first to do so. However, they are only now beginning to implement social justice programs in their respective states.

Such states reflect a worrying trend in the industry in terms of their commitment to such social justice programs: they often emerge as an afterthought and are implemented under all other regulations and programs.

Cannabis Justice Programs and Economically Troubled Communities: Are They Really Working?

Since these programs were introduced in the states where cannabis was legalized, there has been criticism of how effective such programs are, especially among licensees with little access to capital.

The problems encountered in implementing social justice programs have impacted the success rates of such justice programs. California’s social justice program has been hampered by litigation and shark investors, and such setbacks have challenged the viability of some of the licensees’ businesses.

In addition to country-specific issues, the state of the legality of cannabis at the federal level has further hampered such social justice programs as many banks and other financial institutions have been reluctant to raise funds for cannabis companies.

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