fbpx
QQQ
-2.49
316.84
-0.79%
DIA
-2.00
312.11
-0.64%
SPY
-2.91
381.49
-0.77%
TLT
+ 0.60
150.62
+ 0.4%
GLD
-2.07
175.30
-1.19%

Kamala Harris Just Got Serious About Marijuana Reform

September 11, 2019 1:33 pm
Share to Linkedin Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Print License More
Kamala Harris Just Got Serious About Marijuana Reform

By The Fresh Toast's Brendan Bures, provided exclusively to Benzinga Cannabis.

Kamala Harris’s new criminal justice plan involves empowering “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” to start their own cannabis businesses.

What a strange and long journey Sen. Kamala Harris has already experienced around cannabis in 2019. The presidential hopeful endured controversy over “Reefergate,” in which Harris joked about smoking weed in college while listening to Tupac and Snoop Dogg, only to have critics decry that she graduated college before those rappers’ careers started. Her own father even joined the public shaming.

Harris re-gained momentum over the summer in polls and public perception, which included her proposal to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. She earned serious commendation from cannabis activist organization, like the Drug Policy Alliance and NORML. One marijuana policy expert even told Vox Harris’ decriminalization bill, which included the creation of grant programs to assist those disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs, was among the most progressive plans presented by 2020 candidates.

All was good for Harris until the most recent debates when fellow candidate Tulsi Gabbard slammed the former California Attorney General over her prosecution record. Gabbard said she was “deeply concerned about this record,” adding that Harris “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.”

Photo by Bloomberg Creative Photos/Getty Images

Once again, though, Harris is letting her policymaking speak for her around cannabis. This week she unveiled a criminal justice plan making headlines for its intention to “end mass incarceration.” But hidden within is a proposal that would empower “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” to start their own cannabis businesses through government subsidies. The plan highlighted how significant marijuana reform could assist in ending mass incarceration. To accomplish that, Harris wants to give state and local municipalities federal grants that would fund an attractive loan program to those who qualify.

“[Provide] states and localities with funds to make loans to assist small businesses in the marijuana industry that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,” reads the plan.

This grant program, according to Harris’s plan, would be supported by “sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products.”

Despite her past, this is another example of Harris creating actionable legislation that could create systemic change in the cannabis industry and country at large. Of Democratic presidential candidate, however, only Joe Biden hasn’t endorsed federal legalization of marijuana.


Related Articles

Jay-Z Touts 'End Of Cannabis Prohibition' As Roc Nation Finalizes SPAC Deal With Caliva, Left Coast Ventures

A consortium made up of CMG Partners Inc., Left Coast Ventures Inc. and Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) —with his company Roc Nation — has finalized its previously announced transaction with Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp. (OTCQX: SBVCF). read more

Cannabis Movers & Shakers: Next Green, Cannabis Control Commission, Willow, TruTrace, HEXO, Bengal Capital, MediPharm Labs, NIHC

Here is a summary of the latest leadership changes within the cannabis industry. read more

Dispensary Update: Trulieve, Jushi And Cloud Cannabis Each Have New Stores

Trulieve Opens Second Store In Gainesville Cannabis company Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) has cut the ribbon on its second Gainesville, Florida-based dispensary. read more

HempFusion Wellness Debuts In Europe Via Deal With Ireland CPG Distributor

Health and wellness CBD company HempFusion Wellness Inc. (TSX: CBD.U) is expanding to Europe through a deal with an undisclosed consumer goods distributor in Ireland. read more

Cresco Acquires Bluma For $213M, Extends 'Strategic Footprint' To Florida Market

Cannabis company Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) is poised to take over Florida-based Bluma Wellness Inc. read more