The Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) has released two landmark social equity resources. The National Cannabis Equity Report and Digital Research Map is a new way to provide data on social equity programs and policies. The MCBA worked with The Arcview Group, Weedmaps, and Parallel to create a one-stop for gathering and tracking policies. The goal is to help advocates, stakeholders, lawmakers, and consumers understand minorities’ blockades when entering the cannabis sector. The Report and Map will be continuously updated as new policies and programs come into fruition and provide information on the state and municipal levels.
There are no doubt successes when it comes to state equity programs. For example, Colorado’s dispensary owner diversity rapidly rises above the state’s scheduled target. However, the many failures of other states and municipalities need to be addressed: MCBA created both the Report and Map for that purpose.
The National Cannabis Equity Report is 39 pages and has extensive research on different social equity licenses, choosing applications, which states offer which programs, and much more. The Report also seeks to give information on several subjects; they list concerns such as “the number and efficacy of state social equity programs does not reflect the expressed commitment to achieving equity through cannabis,” “the use of non-race criteria in the social equity qualifications and definitions has not yielded diverse cannabis markets,” and
“many states continue to utilize state-level license caps to limit state markets leading to a lack of diversity and the proliferation of the legacy market.”
The Digital Research Map is an easy-to-use, rollover map highlighting critical information about legalization per state. The Map also gives details about possession limits and the history of states’ journey to legalization.
Essentially, the Report highlights findings from policy reports, and the Map can help users explore the details of those findings. So far, there have been 41 policy points spanning across several states that people can look into on the platforms. The MCBA has additionally spotlighted seven conclusions about how lawmakers and activists can use policies to strengthen social equity programs.
Amber Littlejohn, the Executive Director of MCBA, said of the resources, “We created the Equity Report and Map to empower advocates and industry with data and tools to address barriers to entry and create real equity in the cannabis industry. Through the collected data, we can now take a closer look at what is being done, and where there is room for improvement to advance social equity efforts.”
The Principal-Arcview Consulting and MCBA Boardmember David Abernathy applaud the Report and Map as a way of finding tangible ways to change policies. “For years, policymakers have been haphazardly throwing social equity provisions against the wall to see what sticks, albeit with good intentions,” he said. “With this seminal work, we can finally start to account for what’s worked and what hasn’t and use that knowledge to create more well-crafted and effective social equity provisions to make the shifts that are essential as we move forward.”
The Report and Map hope to be the quintessential guide for policy reform that addresses funding, license caps, ownership bans for entrepreneurs with cannabis convictions, and qualifications. Each organization involved in the Report and Map was driven by creating a diverse cannabis market, empowering minorities to grow their marijuana supplies and resources. Education is power for social equity, and MCBA addresses this head-on with the Report and Map.