Groundbreaking Program Aims to Correct Past Disparities, Remove Barriers
Rickey McCullough 1 of 4 equity lottery winners selected lucky number “37” for a chance to open his own Dispensary. Credit… City of Oakland.
Oakland, CA — The City of Oakland held a public drawing today to select qualified individuals and businesses to be eligible for four (4) new cannabis dispensary permits made available specifically to equity applicants. Those selected were Alphonso T. Blunt Jr., Marshall Crosby, Rickey McCullough, and Zhongzhang Yan.
New Cannabis Regulations Lay an Equitable Foundation Oakland’s new regulations lay an equitable foundation for the cannabis industry at a pivotal moment given the rapid pace of the industry and the new statewide implementation of cannabis laws. They take into consideration studies that demonstrate racial disparities in drug law enforcement and the regulatory environment in the City.
“The data show that for over two decades, black and brown residents were arrested and incarcerated for drug offenses at disparately high rates, while largely white cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors, who were not operating entirely above board either, flourished under changing laws designed to accommodate the burgeoning industry,” said City of Oakland Race and Equity Director Darlene Flynn.
The dispensary permitting process is the latest step in implementing the groundbreaking Equity Permit Program passed by the Oakland City Council in the Spring of 2017 that addresses past disparities in the cannabis industry by prioritizing the victims of the war on drugs and minimizing barriers of entry into the industry. An overview of the Program and applications are available here: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/cannabispermit