Cannabis Reg Update: San Diego New Equity Program, Early Cultivation In Minnesota, South Carolina Delays Medical Bill And More

Zinger Key Points
  • San Diego County introduces equity program to aid those impacted by War on Drugs enter cannabis industry.
  • Minnesota Senate considers early cultivation for social equity applicants ahead of retail launch
  • South Carolina's medical marijuana bill faces further delay as legislation remains stuck in House committee.

San Diego’s New Equity Cannabis Program

The County of San Diego introduced a new equity program aimed at addressing historical inequities in cannabis business ownership. The initiative focuses on helping individuals negatively impacted by the so-called War on Drugs in unincorporated areas. The program includes two key components: the social equity entrepreneurs and social equity beneficiaries, both designed to support those affected by past cannabis criminalization. The program’s design reflects feedback from a Social Equity Assessment in which participants can receive assistance such as business and technical support, legal services and grants. County officials emphasize the program’s role in addressing the harms caused by unjust punishment. 

Early Cultivation in Minnesota

Minnesota is setting the record straight, allowing early cultivation of recreational cannabis through an amendment to its law. The state aims to ensure a sufficient supply when retail sales begin, which was a huge concern among cannabis advocates. The proposal allows certain growers, particularly social equity applicants, to start cultivating cannabis under existing medical cannabis rules. The amendment is a response to the problem generated by the decision to provide simultaneous licensing for all sectors. State Senator Lindsey Port (D), who supports the proposal, argues that using the existing medical rules would enable quick market implementation while maintaining a focus on equity.

South Carolina’s Medical Marijuana Bill

South Carolina’s Compassionate Care Act, which aims to legalize medical marijuana faces delays as the legislative session winds down. Despite earlier progress in the Senate, the bill, championed by Republican State Senator Tom Davis remains stuck in a House committee. The bill proposes tightly regulated medical marijuana use for specific conditions. Opposition from law enforcement, particularly concerns about federal approval, has contributed to the bill’s challenges. Davis, who has advocated for medical cannabis for a decade, remains hopeful for a House vote, but time is running out.

Vermont’s Overdose Prevention Center

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill creating an overdose prevention site in Burlington. The bill, which previously passed in the House, has faced emotional debate. Supporters argue that the site will provide critical help to all ages, while opponents say they’re concerned about the lack of age restrictions. The site aims to offer assistance to individuals in vulnerable moments, with staff providing information and support. The bill’s progress highlights Vermont’s evolving approach to drug-related issues, which is unique in drug policy at an international level.

US: Public Support for Cannabis Banking Reform

Community bankers meeting in Washington, D.C. highlighted public support for cannabis banking reform. Polling data shows that 64% of Americans believe the SAFER Banking Act, which allows cannabis-related businesses access to the banking system, would improve public safety. Additionally, 54% agree that opening the banking system to cannabis-related businesses would benefit underserved communities. This support underscores the growing consensus around integrating cannabis businesses into the financial system.

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsMarketsCannabisMinnesotaRegulatory NewsSan DiegoSouth CarolinaVermont
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