FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CURE-CT Releases “Equity and Education First” State Cannabis Legalization Bill
Kebra Smith-Bolden, President CURE-CT
Jason Ortiz, Political Director CURE-CT
Hartford CT- The Connecticut based organization Connecticut United for Reform and Equity(CURE-CT) has released sample legislation “AN ACT ALLOWING LAWFUL AND REGULATED COMMERCE IN CANNABIS AND THE INVESTMENT OF CANNABIS TAX REVENUE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION“ to serve as the foundation for an equity first legalization bill. This bill provides a licensing framework that allows for both large and small business to co-exist in an equitable cannabis industry while investing 51% of cannabis revenue to fund schools, and an additional 20% to a community reinvestment fund where municipalities or community groups can apply for grants to improve their communities. Covering topics that range from Expungement to protections for students and families, the CURE-CT proposal would end the failed war on drugs in CT and ensure the benefits of a regulated industry benefit the communities most harmed by over policing.
The bill draws heavily from Massachusetts for it’s structure under a new Cannabis Control and License Commission, while adopting a license structure more closely resembling California. The creation of an “Office of Justice Reinvestment”, similar to the recently proposed SB690 and derived from the Minority Cannabis Business Associations model policy, would provide oversight over community reinvestment dollars and municipal equity programs. The bill would also require a 5 year head start for municipalities which are designated as “Historically over-policed” and prevent general applications from opening until after the completion of a Municipal Cannabis Equity Pilot Program.” Licenses would be tightly controlled after that period to ensure a 2-1 ration of equity applicants to general applicants.
The release is timed to influence discussion at an all day forum on cannabis equity at the Legislative Office Building room 2a Friday March 15th co-sponsored by the Commission on Equity and Opportunity and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. Scheduled to speak will be Massachusetts Cannabis Commissioner Shaleen Title, Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Chair Brandon McGee, and numerous experts, and entrepreneurs. With an absence of concrete and detailed proposals available, CURE-CT hopes the policy and ensuring policy discussions will spur debate among lawmakers on the topic of what Cannabis legalization could look like in CT.
“There will be no legalizing marijuana without our communities having access to the opportunities afforded to out of state investors. With this bill as the backbone of legalization we can ensure we do it right and make a more equitable Connecticut for everyone.” Kebra Smith Bolden, CEO of CannaHealth, and President of CURECT
“We need bold ideas that drive real change and that’s what this bill does. By pushing the envelope on what is possible CURE-CT and the cannabis advocates in CT are helping everyone envision a post drug war America.” Said Aaron Romano, Lead Attorney for CT-NORML
“There is no doubt that we need strong direction and oversight as we untangle our state government from it’s addiction to the war on drugs. This bill provides that oversight while creating a rich business climate that encourages small businesses owned by people of color to thrive throughout the state.” Said Jason Ortiz, Political Director for CURECT.
CT United for Reform and Equity is a Connecticut based advocacy group focused on ensuring equity is achieved as our state ends its prohibition of cannabis and begins to heal the decades of harm done to our communities by the failed war on drugs. You can find more information and the full text of the bill at www.curect.org