Cannabis: Equity & Ownership
We need to have honest conversations about how marginalized communities, particularly communities of color, have been disproportionately impacted by a fundamentally racist war on drugs. Although the 2016 ballot initiative called for prioritizing ownership in these communities, the implementation of this law still leaves them behind. I will use my office to ensure that the communities, which have been most impacted by mass incarceration are prioritized for entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. They deserve to be part of the conversation, too.
Equity & Expungement
Too many people live with a criminal record for nonviolent drug offenses. This can make it difficult for working people to obtain jobs, access public housing, and receive financial loans. I will advocate to expunge the records of those incarcerated for possession of marijuana and other nonviolent drug offenses.
Of the 27 companies to apply for a license in Boston that reached the second stage of a four-stage application process, only one met the Commonwealth’s Economic Empowerment certification. The major barriers to entry for EEC applicants are access to capital and real estate. I believe Boston should institute a 1:1 policy as it pertains to adult use cannabis business licenses. Periods of exclusivity mean nothing with enormous, systemic barriers to capital preventing EEC applicants the ability to get off the ground. The well funded corporations will just sit on the sidelines waiting for the exclusivity period to expire and then monopolize the market. I will also work to increase applicants access to capital including offering loan assistance and revolving loans.
I will also work to introduce a rubric to use in the application process to prioritize Boston residents and those most impacted by our decades long war on drugs – factors I will consider include but are not necessarily limited to: Boston residency, being an EEA, having a non violent possession charge related CORI only.
I will also use my office to ensure the city of Boston is providing opportunities to those with a drug possession record through direct hiring, ensuring vendors hire and monitoring the inclusion of these hiring programs to ensure efficiency.