Cannabis Equity Programs Aim to Repair Damage Done by the War on Drugs, But Who Most Deserves the Help?

February 19, 2021

The County of Humboldt is preparing to hand out more than $1.2 million worth of services to local residents who’ve been impacted by the war on drugs — specifically, cannabis prohibition. Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements can apply for up to $10,000 in reimbursement for a range of services, including permitting and license fees, business development assistance, even loans and grants to set up solar electrical systems or build water storage capacity.

It’s a not-insignificant windfall for the burgeoning legal weed industry, and it looks likely to be just the first in annually recurring waves of state and local money ushered in by Senate Bill 1294. 

Under SB 1294, the specific criteria for issuing awards are developed by local jurisdictions. (We’ll get into how Humboldt County developed its criteria below.) But broadly speaking, the legislation is intended to address what its author, SoCal State Senator Steven Bradford, calls the “devastating impact[s]” and “long-term consequences” of cannabis prohibition.

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