Sacramento’s Poor and Convicted Get Priority in Cannabis Licensing

A new equity program in Sacramento is allowing the underprivileged and those convicted of non-violent marijuana crimes to get first dibs on the city’s burgeoning cannabis industry.

Under the new guidelines, priority for cannabis licensing will be given to marijuana crime convicts and those in underserved areas, determined via zip code, that have been disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs.

Sacramento is the fourth city in California to approve such a program.

"We have a goal of having 50 percent of all licenses be awarded to those who were impacted by the war on drugs," said Malaki Seku-Amen, president of the California Urban Partnership. "If you were sent to jail or arrested and you were in an area that was disproportionately impacted -- you experienced generational poverty.”

Advocates of cannabis equity programs say they are a way to right the wrongs of the past and level the playing field for communities that have been heavily impacted by marijuana convictions.

Read the city’s resolution here


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