PHOENIX – A attainable excessive stakes court docket listening to happened on Jan. 28 over the marijuana social fairness license program in Arizona.
A lawsuit was filed to ensure these profitable licenses get into the palms of the individuals disproportionately effected by marijuana legal guidelines, and preserve them out of the palms of massive hashish firms.
At the moment, Greater than 1,500 individuals utilized for a social fairness license, which is a part of the voter-approved Proposition 207, and 26 such licenses are set to be awarded by the state quickly.
The intent for social fairness licenses is to offer individuals disproportionally effected by marijuana legal guidelines an opportunity to get right into a profitable enterprise that beforehand upended their lives.
When activists dug into the functions, nonetheless, they tied greater than 500 functions to giant dispensaries – the precise reverse of what they wished.
“With the social fairness licenses, they’ve it to the place you possibly can win the license, and promote it the following minute afterwards,” stated Celeste Rodriguez.
Rodriguez and Acre 41 sued over this system, alleging that established hashish firms have infiltrated this system in an effort to gobble up extra licenses. Rodriguez claims the businesses have both bankrolled the $4,000 software charges for shoppers and made sweetheart offers to get the licenses afterwards, or they’re simply planning on shopping for the licenses from the winners.
“These are phantom functions they’re placing in. Why are they getting credit score for being an software that’s ‘inside the rules’ of what a real social fairness applicant is?” stated Rodriguez.
The Arizona Division of Well being Providers took months to put in writing the principles for candidates, and needs the case thrown out.
“Plaintiff’s requested reduction would hurt, not assist, the a whole bunch and hundreds of individuals they purport to talk on behalf of who’re the social fairness candidates,” stated Roopali Desai, an legal professional for AZDHS.
At the moment, there’s a invoice on the Arizona State Legislature that will stop a social fairness license holder from promoting the license inside 10 years, and in the event that they do promote it, the license must go to a different qualifying particular person, not company.
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