August 3, 2022

Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition Continues Work to Shape Sound Federal Cannabis Policy

August 3, 2022
justice

As the landscape of cannabis policy and the cannabis industry continues to evolve and change in the United States, it is critical that we have the right voices helping shape both sectors. The Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition (CRCC) continues to advocate for those communities and individuals who were the original targets of the racist criminalization of cannabis and the overall war on drugs in our country. It is essential that these communities benefit most from cannabis legalization and the cannabis tax revenue gained from industries created by legalizing medical and adult-use cannabis. Through continued advocacy, the CRCC is beginning to build sustainable cannabis regulations designed to deliver on the reparative and restorative potential of the global cannabis movement.

Most recently, the CRCC has planned a discussion to share their insight and feedback about the SAFE Banking Act. This event follows collaboration and activism regarding the newly filed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) as well as an open letter to President Joe Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, and DOJ leadership urging the Justice Department to adopt updated cannabis regulatory guidance for federal prosecutors. All of these pieces are incredibly important as we work to shape sound cannabis policy moving forward.

CRCC to Host Virtual Discussion Proposing Amendments to the SAFE Banking Act

Cannabis prohibition and the War on Drugs devastated communities across the country, and the impact still reverberates today. Without intervention, the harm caused by this injustice and the inequities in the cannabis industry will likely persist or worsen.

CRCC is on a mission to help repair this damage.

On August 17, 2022, in partnership with The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC), CRCC will discuss solutions to the shortcomings of the SAFE Banking Act, the proposed bill expected to facilitate banking services for businesses in the cannabis industry. This event, part of the DEPC’s Cannabis Regulatory Deep Dive series, will support the Coalition’s white paper, “Not a SAFE Bet: Equitable Access to Cannabis Banking,” which details how the SAFE Banking Act is far from a safe bet to realize fair and equitable access to financial services in the cannabis industry.

WHAT:Not a SAFE Bet: Equitable Access to Cannabis Banking
WHO:Panelists:Cat Packer – Distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, The Ohio State UniversityRafi
Aliya Crockett – Commissioner, Washington, D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
Dasheeda Dawson – Cannabis Program Manager, City of Portland, Oregon 
Shaleen Title – Distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, The Ohio State University
WHEN:August 17, 202212:00 pm – 1:15 pm EDT 
WHERE:Virtual – Zoom 
REGISTRATION:Click here to register for this event.

CRCC on Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA)

As you may know, on July 21, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) officially filed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA).

The CRCC released the following statement as guidance:

“As part of a workgroup focused on federal legalization that has worked with these Senators over the last year, CRCC commends them for this historic step as the first comprehensive cannabis reform bill introduced in the U.S. Senate. 

Senators Schumer, Booker, and Wyden listened to our concerns as regulators and incorporated much-needed revisions to the draft such as prioritizing Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), including HBCUs, in the bill’s education infrastructure and adding several of CRCC’s proposed banking amendments, which will help close the gap on inequitable access to capital and other critical resources within the cannabis industry, particularly for historically-excluded and minority entrepreneurs. We look forward to working with them to bolster this draft and make additional improvements as committee discussions commence.”

CRCC Sends Open Letter to President Biden for Updated Federal Enforcement Guidance

On Tuesday, July 5, 2022,  the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition sent a letter to President Joe Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, and DOJ leadership urging the Justice Department to adopt updated cannabis regulatory guidance for federal prosecutors. The following is an excerpt:

It’s time for a new approach that reflects what Americans care about today:

  • Updated policy guidance should restore clarity provided in the Cole and Ogden memos by advising U.S. Attorneys against interfering with state-legal cannabis activity if states adopt strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems.
  • To appropriately regulate cannabis markets and businesses, we need to understand them. DOJ guidance should encourage uniform data collection by states on cannabis markets, laws and regulations, and their efforts to protect federal enforcement priorities and promote equity. Further, encouraging uniform data collection by states on license ownership and control will aid authorities’ efforts to uncover bad actors and also allow deeper insight into state-level efforts to ensure that the cannabis industry is equitable and accessible.
  • As acknowledged in the President’s 2022 National Drug Control Strategy, racial equity ‘has been a longstanding problem in drug policy affecting both public health and public safety’ and is ‘long overdue’. In the interest of promoting racial and social justice, policy guidance should specify that state regulation of the cannabis industry must ensure that the communities most harmed by prohibition benefit the most from the legal marketplace.
  • DOJ resources, including prosecution, should prioritize enforcement against federal offenses that pose a clear and legitimate threat to public safety, health, equity, or the environment. State-level enforcement efforts must not disproportionately target people of color, especially Black, brown, and Indigenous communities. Efforts to combat impaired driving, for example, must respect civil and privacy rights and treat people consistently regardless of race or economic status.
  • Guidance to federal prosecutors should explicitly protect medical patients who use cannabis for treatment.
CRCC

About CRCC: The Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition (CRCC) is a coalition of government officials appointed and/or selected to lead, manage and oversee the regulatory and policy implementation for legal cannabis markets across the United States and abroad. Described as the leading architects of cannabis equity and policy reform in the United States, its mission is to be a source of guidance and education for legislators and government agencies that aim to build sustainable cannabis regulatory frameworks that are also designed to deliver on the reparative and restorative potential of the global cannabis legalization and decriminalization movement.

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