On December 6th, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to pass a package of ordinances to regulate the new cannabis industry, including a Social Equity Program spearheaded by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
Councilmember Harris-Dawson commented on after the vote, “With the legalization and regulation of cannabis, and the addition of a strong social equity policy we have shut down one of the major fronts on the War on Drugs. Our social equity program is the most aggressive, the most progressive, and the most just social equity program that anybody has anywhere in the US.”
The policy was the culmination of months of work to ensure that our communities won’t have an overconcentration of cannabis businesses and that those who were targeted by the War on Drugs would be given a fair shot in the newly regulated industry. While Prop 64 passed by voters last November includes measures to address the devastation of the War on Drugs, the new city policy goes a further to establish true equity in the new cannabis industry.
Additionally, the Cannabis regulations provided several measures to prevent over-concentration of cannabis businesses, another concern that was vocalized by residents, including buffers between businesses and between sensitive uses such as schools and day care centers.
“As lawmakers we have a responsibility to reasonably regulate this industry in a manner that is safe, inclusive, and practical,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. “Today’s ordinances are the culmination of a transparent and public process.”
“I am very proud of the proactive approach we’ve taken to center social justice and create opportunities for individuals who have been disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs,” said Wesson about the social equity program he helped champion.