Fresno’s “Social Equity” Cannabis Licenses For Rich People Only: Opinion Op

California’s cannabis social equity program for the people harmed by the war on drugs is not fair.

Regulators have overregulated the cannabis industry right out of the hands of the people who brought the industry here.

George Boyadjian

opinion

Their application processes in the local jurisdictions break the people broken by the war on drugs even more.

Only millionaires qualify for licenses

The very same people who have campaigned for cannabis legalization for decades – like me – can’t qualify for a permit because I’m not a millionaire.

After running 420 College, a cannabis management consultancy that helps people get into the cannabis industry for the past 10 years, I can’t get into retail. I keep getting disqualified because “I don’t have enough money”.

Additionally, I was told this by three different jurisdictions: Pasadena, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And it looks like I’ll lose the fight in Fresno too.

Take Los Angeles as an example. It seems like the primary focus of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation is bankrupting the already low-income social justice applicants. I know these words may sound too harsh because they “help” people.

But is that really them? What use is it to notarize every page of the application or the submitted forms if you can change everything you want in the application at any time, even after approval has been completed? None. After all, you are the owner of the business, you can do whatever you want with your business. What’s the point of keeping this applicant waiting eight months for a change?

None. How does this help someone? How is this social justice?

Not the American way

Fresno is another example. They require social justice applicants to have $ 400,000 in the bank to qualify for approval. Apparently we call this social justice in Fresno. To qualify for social equity, you must have a low income. Having $ 400,000 in the bank is not a low income.

We have suffered in the war on drugs, and capping permits creates a monopoly where only the rich can enjoy the benefits of the regulated cannabis market and turns the rest of us back into criminals.

When you judge applications based on their ability to fund their businesses, you are “fairly” excluding people from the industry and reserving them for those who can afford it.

This is not the American way. America is the land of the free market economy. The cannabis industry was built on the back of mom and pop stores and now the same people are being excluded from the industry who created it, and that’s not fair!

This is a fair and equitable way of “manipulating” a process for only a select few. Justice is not the same. Although they sound similar, there are worlds in between. It is not fair treatment to put a social justice applicant in the same position as a millionaire and ask that person to have half a million in the bank.

How about real equity for applicants?

Social justice applicants are not asking for equality or treatment, we are calling for justice in the industry we have built. It seems that diversity and inclusion in cannabis means going bankrupt from Los Angeles to Fresno and struggling to survive in this unequal and unjust process.

Limiting the number of permits and speaking of social justice is not fair. Asking half a million dollars in the bank to qualify for a permit isn’t fair.

We have suffered in the war on drugs, and capping permits creates a monopoly where only the rich can enjoy the benefits of the regulated cannabis market and turns the rest of us back into criminals.

What happens to all the people who created this industry? What is happening to us? We need an answer.

About the author

George Boyadjian from Fresno owns Fresno Originals. Email: george@420college.org

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