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National Urban League Releases Its Equitable Cannabis Legalization Policy Position

National Urban League Releases its Equitable Cannabis Legalization Policy Position and Commends New York for Prioritizing Cannabis Legalization Early in New Administration


National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial released the following statement after Governor Kathy Hochul announced new appointments for New York’s Office of Cannabis Management and Cannabis Control Board:

“New York State has an opportunity to establish itself as a true leader in cannabis justice by naming new leadership to administer its new cannabis legalization program. The National Urban League is pleased to see Governor Hochul make these appointments a priority early on in her administration and is eager to partner with New York officials to end cannabis prohibition by establishing a true and deep equitable legalization program.

“With this announcement, the National Urban League releases its policy position on the equitable legalization of cannabis. Policymakers must find solutions to generational harms caused by cannabis prohibition, which has devastated Black and Brown communities for far too long. We have been placed behind bars and saddled with convictions that stand in the way of building economic power and achieving social equality.

“The National Urban League has identified several areas that policymakers must address, including the overlapping issues of social equity and community reinvestment, criminal justice, workforce development, entrepreneurship, public health, and product safety to get this right. In order for our communities to achieve true equity, inclusion, and justice, it requires addressing discriminatory practices in all systems at the root.

“Additionally, as an important start, New York and other states must create space for minority-owned Medical Registered Organizations (MRO). MROs are important entities within New York’s Medical Marijuana Program that currently have no diversity. The communities who have borne the brunt of prohibition must be at the table to contribute their voices and experiences to the future of this industry. The equitable legalization of cannabis is on the horizon.”

To read the National Urban League’s official Equitable Cannabis Legalization policy guidance, click here.

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