The Cannabis Control Commission released a memo late yesterday afternoon detailing initial policies and procedures for host communities to promote and encourage full participation in the cannabis industry by those who have been disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs.

The CCC memo states that communities are required to adopt initial policies and procedures related to equity by July 1. While the memo goes on to say that it was sent to “suggest strategies and resources for Host Communities to consider in order to meet this requirement,” it was delivered less than two working days before July 1, with very little time for local officials to incorporate the information.

Chapter 180 of the Acts of 2022 requires the CCC to develop policies and procedures to ensure that those who have been disproportionately harmed by the enforcement of marijuana laws are guaranteed fair and equitable access to the industry and to promote their full participation. This includes advisory guidelines, best practices and minimum acceptable policy standards.

“Chapter 180 requires the Commission to promulgate regulations in accordance with these requirements no later than November 9, 2023,” the memo states, “at which time a full regulatory framework will be issued and enforced in collaboration with the Department of Revenue.”

The CCC suggests a number of actions a host community can take to satisfy social equity requirements, including lowering or eliminating fees for equity applicants to reduce barriers to entry, and improving transparency and efficiency in the approval process to reduce barriers to entry and lower costs.

Municipalities that host a social equity business may be eligible to receive an additional 1% excise on the sale of marijuana products.

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