Reader: Marijuana Social Equity Is Great — and Years Late

Reader: Marijuana Social Equity Is Great — and Years LateEXPAND
Jacqueline Collins
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New marijuana business licenses for would-be entrepreneurs who lack funds but come with other credentials are closer to reality in Colorado. These micro-licenses are intended to raise social equity within commercial pot by making business permits more accessible to those harmed by the War on Drugs.

While applications could become available in early 2021, a year after the law took effect, the state Marijuana Enforcement Division continues to hold rulemaking hearings. The new licenses will be connected to and housed within the facilities of established cannabis companies that agree to play host, and would come with discounted licensing fees.

In general, stakeholders applaud the new opportunities. But some worry that they come with other expenses. Says Sebastian:

Nice to see some equity being built into the system.

Notes Ryan:

The grow is the expensive part of the operation, not the licensing fees. You don't need a grow to have a dispensary now, but the money is in the THC. Without owning a grow, the profits/prospects of a dispensary are severely limited. Kudos for trying to address a real problem, but this feels like window dressing.

Adds Derrick:

10,000 dollar license
10 million dollar greenhouse...

Comments Richard:

Every person in this and many other countries have been harmed by the War on Drugs. Growing and selling weed should be no different than potatoes. USDA inspection and tax records for sales.

Predicts James:

This is huge. I will be taking full advantage of this.

 And Kevin concludes:

Six years after the race starts...everyone else go!!!

Securing a marijuana license has proven to be a costly, frustrating venture for a startup business in Colorado, with most licensing opportunities in Denver and other metro communities drying up because of market saturation and local license moratoriums. To be eligible for a future marijuana micro-license and potential social equity assistance by the state, applicants would have to fit one of several qualifications connected to communities impacted by drug prohibition, including annual income and proof of direct harm related to the War on Drugs.

Do you think the new micro-licenses will spark more diversity in the state's marijuana industry, or are you interested in pursuing one? Post a comment or email marijuana@westword.com.

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