Big Cannabis, Priority Applicants, and Social Equity in the Budding Marijuana Industry

The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts recently passed an ordinance prohibiting existing medical marijuana dispensaries from engaging in the sale of recreational marijuana for two years.[1] Specifically, the ordinance gives priority to economic empowerment applicants, defined under the state’s Cannabis Control Commission as businesses that are owned by, serve, or reside in areas disproportionately impacted by high amounts of drug-related arrests, including businesses owned by individuals of Black, African American, Hispanic, and Latino descent.[2] For the first two years after the Cambridge ordinance’s enactment,…
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Cannabis Advocates Grow Hopeful as Congressional Committee Approves Marijuana Banking Bill

In a vote that congressional advocates hope could pave the way towards federal legalization of marijuana by the end of 2019, the House Financial Services Committee recently voted to advance a bill that would prevent federal banking regulators from punishing financial institutions for working with marijuana businesses that operate legally under state, local, or tribal law. In a rare bipartisan committee vote, passage of this legislation by the full House would allow marijuana businesses more access to banks and lenders and permit them to store…
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