Los Angeles is revamping its rules for handing out licenses to cannabis businesses, amid anger and disappointment over the tumultuous rollout of a program meant to address the damage done by criminalizing marijuana.
The rules passed unanimously Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council tighten the criteria for new applicants seeking to qualify for the “social equity” program, which is supposed to ensure that people from communities hit hardest by the war on drugs benefit from marijuana legalization.
“We all know social equity has been a failure, here in L.A. and across most jurisdictions. Too many loopholes … This is the first real hope for social equity to succeed,” Lynne Lyman, who led the Drug Policy Action campaign for the legalization of recreational cannabis in California, said at a recent city meeting on the changes.
Until now, the social equity program has broadly targeted people who have cannabis convictions or have lived in areas with disproportionate arrests for marijuana crimes, but critics said the rules were too loose. Many complained that Black entrepreneurs were underrepresented, despite the heavy toll of cannabis criminalization on Black communities. [Read More @ The LA Times]