The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Commission (LCB) has officially announced that it will begin accepting Social Equity applications on March 1st.
that’s all 44 licenses Those previously “confiscated, canceled, revoked or not issued” are now available to qualified persons.Applicant must reside Areas affected by disequilibrium (DIA) is defined as having high poverty rates, high rates of participation in “income-based federal programs,” unemployment, and convictions between 1980 and 2010. Applicants must be convicted of a cannabis-related offense. I know a family who was similarly convicted. Lastly, the applicant’s income must be less than the state average of her $82,400.
LCB has set up webinars on January 24th and 28th to assist potential applicants through the licensing process.
Social equity has become an industry standard, but Washington’s first legalization did not include these provisions, especially in states that have recently legalized adult-use cannabis.
“The 2012 ballot measure Initiative 502 legalized the recreational use of cannabis by adults, but included provisions or created programs acknowledging the disproportionate harm that cannabis law enforcement has done to certain groups and communities. I didn’t do it.” LCB stated“The LCB recognizes that cannabis prohibition laws have been disproportionately enforced over the decades, and that the cumulative damage from this enforcement remains today.”
March 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee Signs House Bill 2870 (This was introduced to Congress by Rep. Eric Pettigrew), came into effect June 12, 2020. This led to the creation of the State Social Equity Program, the Social Equity Task Force. “…and provided an opportunity to offer a limited number of retail cannabis licenses to individuals who would be unduly affected by the enforcement of the Cannabis Prohibition Act.”
A new bill is currently being proposed that aims to improve upon the original Social Equity Bill. Senate Bill 5080’s The first hearings were held Jan. 10 at the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, the Washington Canna Business Association, and the Craft Cannabis Coalition. Many in attendance expressed concern about market oversaturation and called for a reduction in the number of social justice licenses.
In December 2022, annual cannabis sales in Washington State are down about $120 million compared to last year’s data, according to a report from Headsets. “From March 2020 to March 2021, the conventional cannabis market experienced dramatic growth,” he wrote Headset of the decline. “For example, in the first few months of the pandemic, total adult sales in Colorado increased by 63% from February 2020 to July 2020.” However, sales growth during the pandemic caused an unusual meteor rise. LCB spokesperson Brian Smith said: “What you see as the ‘drop’ is that sales are actually returning to normal growth as more people return to in-person work. He added that the downward trend is not just limited to Washington state, but can be seen nationwide in other legal states.
Washington also made progress to address other outdated laws in 2022. Signed by Governor Inslee in April 2022 House Bill 1210, replaced all references to “marijuana” in state law with “cannabis.” According to Rep. Melanie Morgan, who sponsored the bill, the meaning behind marijuana had to be removed. “The word ‘marijuana’ itself is derogatory and racist,” Morgan said. “As recreational marijuana use became more common, it became negatively associated with Mexican immigrants. I am healing the wrongs that have been done.”