A new work group in Colorado will shape how equity unfolds for the state’s cannabis industry.
In late June, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law a bill that promises to expand both social equity and pardons when it comes to cannabis. The bill, HB20-1424, is the latest in a series of efforts over the past year to hit head on the lack of diversity in the state’s cannabis industry, and the barriers to entry. These issues have been front and center, for example, in Denver’s deliberations over implementation of statewide legislation that expands cannabis delivery and hospitality. That group, as Cannabis Wire reported, wrapped its discussions last month.
Now, there’s a new group in Colorado, this time focused on the statewide implementation of HB20-1424. (The group will also discuss HB20-1080, focused on loosening cannabis industry residency requirements.) The group’s members were announced this week. And, after two meetings, in July and August, their recommendations will help to determine exactly how regulators craft rules and regulations for the expansion of social equity efforts in the state.
“All hardworking Coloradans deserve a fair shot at sharing in the prosperity of the booming marijuana industry,” bill sponsor Rep. James Coleman said when HB20-1424 was signed into law. “This bill will help overcome decades of inequity in an industry where black people have been criminalized and others have been able to make profits. We should not be defined by our past alone, and this bill provides Coloradans who want to make an honest living in the marijuana industry with the opportunity to do so. Creating equal economic opportunity for all makes us stronger. ”
The work group chairs and several work group participants are from the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division: Jim Burack (chair); Dominique Mendiola (chair); Danielle Henry (chair); Lu Córdova; Heidi Humphreys; Cory Amend; Kirsten Gregg; Jean Robinson; and Ross Hoogerhyde (Office of the Attorney General for the DOR).
Other government stakeholders:
● Courtney Krause (Office of the Governor)
● Jack Reed (Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice)
● Max Nathanson (Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade)
● Robin Peterson (City of Aurora)
● Molly Duplechian (City and County of Denver)
Cannabis industry stakeholders:
● Albert Gutierrez (MedPharm Holdings)
● Arthur Way (Equitable Consulting)
● Ben Cohen (Ben’s Best)
● Dakeana Jones-Bishop (Livwell Enlightened Health)
● Dewayne Benjamin (Tetra Lounge)
● Jarell Phillip Wall (Gentleman Quinns)
● Jessica Lynn Cristadoro (The Vivid Team)
● John Bailey (Black Cannabis Equity Initiative)
● Jordan Wellington (VS Strategies)
● Larisa Bolivar (Cannabis Consumers Coalition)
● Lauren R. Maytin (The Law Offices of Edson & Maytin)
● Mark Wellstone (Village Retail)
● Michael Cooper (Madison Jay Solutions)
● Nabil Rodriguez (Greenspoon Marder & CO NORML)
● Raquel Martin (Potential Social Equity Program Participant)
● Samantha Walsh (Tetra Public Affairs)
● Shai Malik (Potential Social Equity Program Participant)
● Shawn Coleman (36 Solutions)
● Sarah Woodson (The Color of Cannabis)
● Truman Bradley (Marijuana Industry Group)