Long-standing and persistent obstacles to general business opportunities for affected communities that exist broadly within the United States are even more severe regarding cannabis-related businesses. The lack of opportunity to enter into cannabis-related businesses is largely because of the long-term consequences of cannabis enforcement associated with the racial targeting from the War on Drugs. The devastating impact of the cannabis prohibition era in California has been felt throughout the state, especially for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). These communities have borne a disproportionate burden from arrest, convictions, and collateral consequences following convictions. The long-term consequences of cannabis enforcement coupled with generational poverty, education gaps, and additional barriers to entry make it extraordinarily difficult for affected individuals to enter the regulated cannabis industry.
Due to this, the City of Richmond has moved forward with developing a Cannabis Equity Ordinance to address the long-term consequences of unequal cannabis enforcement. The goal of the Cannabis Equity Ordinance will be to lower the barrier for individuals and communities most impacted by the War on Drugs to enter into the cannabis market and benefit from the legalization of cannabis in the State of California. The development of an Equity Ordinance will occur in two phases; 1) develop a Cannabis Equity Assessment for Richmond, 2) using findings from the assessment, identify Equity Programs to be included in a Cannabis Equity Ordinance.
This website will be a central location for all documents, meetings, and other information related to developing a Cannabis Equity Ordinance.
Cannabis Equity Manual
Community Outreach - Development of Cannabis Equity Program
The primary purpose of this Cannabis Equity Assessment (“Equity Assessment”) is to identify communities that have been disproportionally impacted by enforcement of cannabis-related laws and crimes within the City of Richmond. The analysis provided in this assessment is data-informed and analyzes the history and current conditions of illegalization of cannabis in the City, including poverty and Richmond Police Department data. It reviews known characteristics of the City’s existing cannabis industry and discusses barriers to entry into the industry. Finally, the Equity Assessment provides recommendations to assist decision-makers in developing and implementing the City's cannabis equity program.
Economic Development Commission - Cannabis Sub-Committee