Denver developed a multi-pronged approach to ensuring that communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs can benefit from the legalization of marijuana. Mayor Hancock's Cannabis Social Equity work includes exploring a variety of tactics including the continued use of marijuana tax revenue to support low and moderate-income neighborhoods, obtaining data related to the marijuana industry, vacating low-level marijuana convictions and identifying areas of need in workforce development and licensing ownership and entrepreneurship, including a cannabis equity project for the distribution of new licenses, such as hospitality and delivery as well as the removal of barriers in the marijuana licensing process for existing licenses.
Denver is taking a large share of marijuana tax revenue to address marijuana equity issues - and addressing holistically - not assuming one size fits all when addressing ills of 50-year war on drugs. To date, Denver’s multi-pronged approach has included:
Turn Over a New Leaf Program
Marijuana Tax Revenue
Denver is promoting inclusion for people and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs as well as communities that are now being affected by the regulated marijuana industry.
This report presents the results of a study examining the diversity of the Denver cannabis industry, the need for a social equity program to increase equitable ownership and employment opportunities and decrease disparities for marginalized communities, as well as address the disproportionate impacts of the War on Drugs.
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