New York – PRESS RELEASE – The Minority Cannabis Business Association has announced a tri-state cannabis equity summit at Civic Hall in New York City on Dec. 7. The event will gather 100 of the brightest minds in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey cannabis policy to better understand how a regional approach to cannabis commerce can best benefit the communities of color most impacted by the war on drugs. Speakers will include Shaleen Title, Cannabis Commissioner of Massachusetts, Adam Smith of the West Coast based Craft Cannabis Alliance.
This summit was formed in response to a similar conference held on Oct. 17 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, where they outlined a number of agreed-upon principles for a consistent northeast cannabis legalization policy. They listed a number of agreed-upon principles which will be discussed and specific recommendations of implementation given.
“The opportunity for a consistent regional approach to fair legalization could be the key to moving from social justice principles to results. I applaud the leadership in the Northeast states, along with MCBA and its partners, for seeking to model a fair regional approach that can also support a federal framework. Any policymaker with an interest in cannabis should consider attending this summit,” says Shaleen Title, Cannabis Commissioner of Massachusetts and key legal advisor to Prop. 64 in Colorado.
“As a longtime resident and activist in Connecticut, it’s obvious a regional approach that includes strong equity programs and robust interstate commerce is the way forward for all of our communities. Anything less will result in failure and the need to come back and relegislate the details all over again. Our work at MCBA can help all states avoid that by getting it right the first time,” says Jason Ortiz.
“We have the opportunity to not only repair the harms caused by the War on Drugs, but also the duty to ensure those most harmed have a shot at reaping the benefits of this billion dollar industry. Legalization is a moot point if the policies are not created under a social justice framework and capital remains inaccessible to communities of color. The Tri-State area is taking a different approach compared to the rest of the country. It’s equity program should follow suit,” says Stephanie Izquieta, who owns New York City-based Dissent Productions
“Misunderstandings over vital social justice programs caused issues in New Jersey last session. This time we’re excited to partner with our friends and neighbors of the tri-state to find a model of legalization that incorporates interstate commerce and social justice to create the first regional approach to legalization. This is game changing and exactly the kind of momentum we need to get the job done in Jersey,” says New Jersey-based equity advocate Rani Soto, founder of LeafLauch.
“There is tremendous opportunity to create a system that uplifts historically over policed communities of west coast farmers and east coast distributors. I’m honored to be joining this event and bringing our message of bi-coastal cannabis commerce as a method of economic empowerment for all of our communities,” says Adam Smith of the Craft Cannabis Alliance, which recently passed an interstate commerce bill in the Oregon State Legislature.
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