New Connecticut Marijuana Equity Council Approves Map Of Drug War-Impacted Areas At First Meeting

MJ moment

Just weeks after Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed a marijuana legalization bill into law, the state’s newly formed Social Equity Council met for the first time on Thursday to discuss its approach to fostering a diverse, equitable cannabis industry that benefits those most harmed by the war on drugs. Among other agenda items, the 15-person group approved a list of geographic areas disproportionately impacted by the drug war, which will be used to determine eligibility for social equity business licenses. Under the state’s new cannabis law, half of all licenses must go to equity applicants, who may also qualify for lower licensing fees, technical assistance, workforce training and funding to cover startup costs. A portion of tax revenue from the eventual sale of legal cannabis—expected to begin sometime next year—is also set to be reinvested into communities in the affected areas. “We’ve got a group of folks who have investment experience, management experience, understanding of the communities and the importance of social justice,” Lamont said at Thursday’s meeting, “and we’re gonna make sure that the revenues from the legalization of cannabis go to the communities hardest hit.” Connecticut Social Equity Council The impacted areas were determined through historical drug-related conviction rates and unemployment rates among U.S. Census tracts in the state. The 200 qualifying Census tracts across the state span 35 cities and towns. Together they account for about 23 percent of the state’s current population, noted local reporter John Craven, but are responsible for more than two-thirds of past cannabis convictions. The tracts include sections of big cities with larger Black and brown populations, who have disproportionately borne the brunt of the war on drugs nationally, as well as towns that have smaller communities of color but higher unemployment rates. Municipalities with areas included in the designation are…

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Source : New Connecticut Marijuana Equity Council Approves Map Of Drug War-Impacted Areas At First Meeting

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