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This article in Politico is pretty damning on the issue of local control for cannabis licenses:
How state marijuana legalization became a boon for corruption
By making local officials the gatekeepers for million-dollar businesses, states created a breeding ground for bribery and favoritism.
Local control is "the biggest mistake that we made," said Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title at a Boston University conference on marijuana law. Title is a longtime drug policy-reform advocate and serves in the Commission's social justice seat. As someone who helped draft Massachusetts’s legalization law, Title said, she takes responsibility for those shortcomings.
"It was just unbelievable … the level of corruption was shocking to me," said Mildred Barnes Griggs, who was part of a team that applied for but did not receive a license in Arkansas, and responded with a series of official complaints alleging favoritism and a lack of accountability. "Open corruption. Corruption that went unpunished."
States that have largely avoided corruption controversies either do not have license caps — like Colorado or Oklahoma — or dole out a limited number of licenses through a lottery rather than scoring the applicants by merit — like Arizona. Many entrepreneurs, particularly those who lost out on license applications, believe the government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers and should just let the free market do its job.
"It was far more political than I had ever anticipated," said Barnes Griggs of her application experience. "People were encouraged to apply, but you didn't stand a chance. It was already rigged."
Are the approaches of Colorado, Oklahoma, or Arizona the way to go?
Big cannabis companies scale back amid coronavirus, raising questions about industry’s overall health
It would be interesting to get an investor perspective on whether headlines like this indicate we're in a downturn, correction, or reversal of the fortunes in the cannabis industry? k...@...m a...@...m
It has been nearly 2 years since the Guardian ran an article exposing modern day child slavery in UK cannabis grow operations.
The issue is in the news again as 39 immigrants were found frozen to death in the container of a UK Lorry. Some relevant articles on the issue:
Bonded Labour, Slavery & Illegal Cannabis Farms. A Worldwide Enforcement Issue
People smuggling from Vietnam to Europe: The facts
I Came to Britain to Run an Illegal Weed Grow House
Confessions of a cannabis farmer: The Vietnamese getting UK high
After UK Truck Deaths, Prospering Vietnam Asks Why Workers Go Abroad
Expert Views: UK truck deaths cast spotlight on global trade in humans
The UK has a strategic plan to generally address the issue - it is here: Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Strategic Plan 2019-2021
Question to the US cannabis industry ... are there seed-to-sale or supply chain transparency technologies (e.g. blockchain) that could help address this problem in the UK? If so, share your thoughts here ... we will try and help bring focused attention to this tragic issue.
j...@...m m...@...o s...@...m s...@...m s...@...m j...@...m
Lots of attention on the "Vaping Crisis" this week.
Interesting perspective from overseas:
Why isn’t Juul said to be having the same effect on children in the UK?
It is not the same product. The absence of regulation in the US means there is no cap on nicotine levels in e-cigarette liquids, making stronger doses more addictive. The UK has a strict limit, thanks to an EU directive now enshrined in British law.
Statement by NCIA on the issue:
Is this a storm passing through or a fundamental shift for the industry?
Fairly extensive article. Some highlights:
- Black people are nearly four times as likely as white people to be charged with marijuana possession, despite similar usage rates, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
- A 2016 BuzzFeed analysis estimated that just 1% of 3,200 to 3,600 U.S. storefront marijuana dispensaries had black owners.
- The most pressing issue facing minority entrepreneurs, Hawkins said, is obtaining the capital necessary to run a cannabis business (WW Note: Hard enough for any early stage company or start-up - imagine extra challenge of modern day "redlining").
What can the industry be doing to help advance equity in our industry? Feel free to comment on the site below.