Featured Special Report

According to the local St Louis NAACP, the excitement is building. In a new category, there are cannabis licenses that will be reserved for small businesses.

Especially for businesses of color; will over the time add a minimum of 144 licensed facilities. This will be additional to the existing 378 licensed and certified cannabis businesses in the state.

Aldophus Pruitt-St Louis City NAACP President:

Equity,Facilitation, and Growth Economically
● These new small business licenses will help bring more equity and representation into our state’s cannabis industry.
● Includes those previously convicted of non-violent marijuana offenses. As well as Missourians with limited capital, residents of high-poverty communities, and service-disabled veterans.

●18 new business licenses in each of the state’s eight congressional districts. At least six of those facilities, per district, must operate as dispensaries. 
● The remainder will be designated as wholesale facilities. That’s a new category which allows operators to both cultivate the plant and manufacture cannabis products. 

Photo Courtesy of KFVS12

● They (new license holders) would be selected at random, by lottery.
● All new retail business locations will be constitutionally required to be evenly distributed across the state.
● As a result? Economic growth in big cities, bedroom communities and rural areas alike.

● Similarly, opening up the medical cannabis industry to more women, veterans, people of color, residents of job-starved neighborhoods and those with expunged convictions is a significant step in the right direction.
● Increasing social equity in this sector is right for Missouri. This move will be the single largest criminal justice reform undertaken in Missouri, which is long overdue.

Fairness, equality, legalization and justice
● It’s a matter of basic fairness. Missouri shouldn’t legalize marijuana without automatically expunging thousands of criminal records for marijuana offenses that will soon be legal.
● St Louis NAACP want to highlight the disproportionate impact of Missouri marijuana arrests on people of color.
● A 2020 report by the American Civil Liberties Union found that Blacks are 2.6 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in Missouri. That’s despite comparable national usage rates. 
● In Johnson, Lafayette and Lincoln counties, black people were more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts.
● From 2010 through 2018, marijuana possession arrests accounted for 50 percent of all drug arrests in Missouri. That places Missouri just outside the nation’s Top 10 for the highest cannabis possession arrest rates.

For more information on this special report click here.

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