Cambridge City Council has imposed a two-year ban on any individual opening a recreational cannabis shop if they do not come from a historically marginalized group.
The council voted 7- in favour of the Cannabis Small business Permitting Ordinance in a meeting on Monday evening. Councilors Denise Simmons and Timothy Toomey Jr. abstained from the vote.
The legislation paves the way for recreational cannabis shops to open across the city, which is portion of the Boston metropolitan location and has a population of about 120,000.
Massachusetts elected to legalize recreational cannabis in 2016, a century soon after it became the initially state to outlaw marijuana. Legal sales lastly started in November 2018 and hit $140 million through the initially six months of trading.
On the other hand, Cambridge waited till earlier this year ahead of it started contemplating whether or not or not it ought to permit recreational cannabis shops. The council has now voted in favor of permitting them, but not ahead of Councilors Sumbul Siddiqui and Quinton Zondervan imposed an amendment final week.
It imposes a two-year moratorium that prevents any individual that does not come from a historically marginalized group from gaining a license to open a recreational marijuana dispensary.
A group known as True Action for Cannabis Equity launched in Boston earlier this month soon after expressing aggravation that 182 of 184 marijuana enterprise licenses in Massachusetts have gone to white people today.
“The black neighborhood in Cambridge has been severely impacted by cannabis prohibition and the war on drugs, and it is our duty to address that,” said Zondervan.
The legislation creates a two-year period of exclusivity for “priority applicants”, defined as these certified by the Commonwealth as Financial Empowerment or Social Equity System applicants, or females or minority-owned companies.
The thought is to avert massive organizations from dominating the sector and give nearby entrepreneurs unfairly punished by the war on drugs a opportunity to establish themselves. Any person else can apply soon after two years, while Cambridge’s current healthcare marijuana dispensary owners have threatened to sue.
Simmons proposed an option amendment, which would have permitted these healthcare marijuana dispensaries to be in a position to sell recreational cannabis supplied they paid into a fund that assists “economic empowerment” companies. These are defined as getting led by, employing, or benefiting members of communities hit hardest by higher prices of drug arrests.
That amendment was not added to the bill when it was sophisticated for Monday’s vote.