People are asking, voices are being heard calling for a fairer cannabis industry, and leaders in Seattle, Washington are making changes.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell introduced three new bills A proposal to the Seattle City Council to encourage more diverse inclusion in the city’s cannabis industry, announced Aug. 9. The proposal was developed in collaboration with city councilor Teresa Mosqueda, as well as a pool of cannabis industry stakeholders and employees.
The proposed bill would allow the city to take “concrete steps to improve fairness and opportunity” in the cannabis industry as Washington begins allocating socially equitable cannabis licenses statewide. increase.
“For a thriving Seattle economy, every worker and company deserves it.[s] We provide security and opportunities to learn, grow and thrive,” said Mayor Harrell. press release“As the cannabis industry continues to grow, we must turn around and support marginalized communities. Equity in this industry means safe working conditions and fair treatment for workers. , a commitment to store ownership, equity, innovation and opportunity, including in the communities most affected by the war on drugs.”
A series of bills aims to create city-level social equity licenses and reduce barriers to opening cannabis stores for underrepresented communities and those most affected by the war on drugs. . They will work with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Commission to issue licenses through a social equity framework, laying the groundwork for future cannabis-related businesses.
The law, similar to protections created for hotel employees in 2019, requires store employees to be retained for 90 days if ownership changes. They will create a short-term cannabis advisory committee that will work with the city council to gather input on cannabis equity. Needs from workers, community members, and industry leaders. A needs assessment will be conducted to understand additional steps to make the industry more robust and sustainable for diverse communities.
The law works in tandem with county and community efforts to expedite efforts to expunge pre-2014 cannabis-related offense convictions. investment, and access to banking services.
Harrell Mayor Join Seattle City Council Seek passage of the federal SAFE Banking Act to give cannabis businesses access to banks.
“A few years later [our] Communities are calling for greater equity in the cannabis industry, and this law is the right direction to create local equity applications, improve labor standards and focus on worker safety in the cannabis industry. Thanks to a broad coalition led by workers and companies in the cannabis industry. Seek reform in this industry and don’t give up. We will continue to work with you and the mayor’s office to make these first policy steps impactful, and will continue to work with cannabis to address the harm caused by the war on drugs and past harmful policies. We look forward to building on this approach to increase fairness. ”
The legislation was also supported by members of UFCW 3000. We will work with the Mayor’s Office and City Council, and with a broad coalition of community stakeholders, to build on this foundation over the next few years. ”