420DC Weekly Round Up
Headlines from 3/9-3/16
Brought to you by The Outlaw Report
On March 3, it was announced by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board that Washington D.C.’s medicinal cannabis program will soon be expanding. That’s due to the recent availability of five additional facility registrations for testing laboratories, cultivation centers, and a dispensary. According to an announcement from ABRA, there are two available testing laboratories eligible for any Ward except for Ward 5; two cultivation centers eligible for any Ward except for Ward 5; and one dispensary which can be registered only for Ward 3 or Ward 5.
In a joint letter, the Virginia ACLU, Marijuana Justice, and others asked for 70% of cannabis taxes to support the CERF. It is intended to provide scholarships for historically marginalized youth, especially those who are impacted by the War on Drugs; support workforce development and reentry services; and contribute to the Cannabis Equity Business Loan Fund, which will make loans to social equity cannabis license candidates; among other purposes. “Our top priority with marijuana legalization must be to repair the harm to Black and Brown communities done by the War on Drugs,” Ashna Khanna, VA ACLU legislative director, told The Outlaw Report.“The proposed 30% of tax revenue just won’t cut it, if lawmakers are serious about funding these initiatives.”
Maryland legislators continue to deliberate on the merits of two largely similar cannabis legalization bills—one in the House, one in the Senate—which differentiate in ways that will determine how accessible the adult-use cannabis industry is to those most harshly impacted by racist prohibition of cannabis. SB 708, sponsored by Sen. Brian J. Feldman and other top senate Democrats, was the subject of a hearing in a Senate Finance Committee hearing last Thursday, Mar. 4. While the bill is largely similar to HB 32, Del. Jazz Lewis’ cannabis legalization bill that was pre-filed in the house before the legislative session even began, there are a few significant differences.
The Outlaw Report podcast host Scott Cecil is joined by D.C. entrepreneur and advocate, Caroline Phillips, the creator of the National Cannabis Festival and board member of Supernova Women, a non-profit whose mission is to bring racial equity to the cannabis industry. Scott and Caroline discuss the top stories of the week, including VA lawmakers’ decision to wait on enactment of adult-use legalization until 2024, and two competing adult-use legalization bills in DC looking to outdo one another on racial equity.
“As part of the transition, USDA and many other agencies took the opportunity to review new and pending regulatory actions,” the USDA explained. “This is a routine process done at the beginning of new administrations to ensure longstanding as well as new programs are structured and resourced appropriately and to ensure programs are implemented to best serve their intended stakeholders.”