Why Social Equity Cannabis Legalization is a Corporate Strategy to Monopolize the Cannabis Market
I am always very weary when it comes to “Social Equity” and policies like “Affirmative Action”. Not because I don’t believe that we need to create systems that empower the individual to rise above their current situations – but because for the most part the “social equity” card has been utilized by corporations to dodge responsibility while “seeming” to be working for a greater good.
For example, the “Climate Change” argument detracts from the real culprits that are destroying our earth; MONSTER CORPORATION AND GLOBAL ARMIES.
That’s right, most of the pollution that massively affect the planet comes from the very corporations pushing green agendas. They fly in their private jets to far off lands to talk about how they can “save the world”.
That level of sadistic psychopathy can only be mastered by the ruling elite and what’s worse is that they believe that everybody will simply “go along with it”.
The scary thing is that at the very least there is some portion of the population who do blindly go along with these policies.
However, today we’re not here to talk about the flaws of Climate Change, but rather, we’re taking a closer look at another “hype term” – Social Equity.
Dafuq is Social Equity?
You may have heard the term “Social Equity” thrown around with cannabis legalization bills, workplace policy and so forth. So for the sake to end all doubts, let’s take a closer look at the definition of “Social Equity”.
According to Knowledge Bank,
Social Equity, at its simplest, can be understood as impartiality, fairness, and justice for all people.1 This means taking into account systemic inequalities to ensure that that everyone has access to the same opportunities and outcomes.
In other words, it’s a retroactive system that attempts to “level the playing field” in a number of ways whether through affirmative action, and creating “special rules” for the marginalized or restricting other people from engaging with a particular activity.
Now, before some of you go ballistic and break down the concept of “Social Equity”, it isn’t necessarily coming from a “bad place”.
After all, in an ethical and open society, we would want to ensure that everybody in a legal sense is treated equally.
THE PROBLEM with social equity comes in relation to one of its core motivations – that everyone has access to the same opportunities and outcomes.
While in an ideal world, this would be a nice scenario. Everyone has access to the same opportunities and outcomes. The problem is that no outcome, even if you get all the help from the government, is guaranteed.
In relation to “opportunities”, by definition every individual has their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, if Candidate A, B and C all work in the exact same position at their job but Candidate A is a single person in good health, Candidate B is a single mother barely making it each week, and Candidate C is a person with a physical disability – they all might have the same opportunities, but their outcomes will differ significantly.
This is because you can’t engineer the outcome. You can only provide the opportunity.
This is the core issue with social equity – trying to engineer an artificial outcome. And this is exactly why the whole social equity experiment in cannabis isn’t working out.
What’s more, it seems that the only real people benefiting from these “social equity licenses” are monster corporations who are supposed to not have access to these licenses.
What’s happening in Arizona?
In Arizona, they have such a scheme where people with prior marijuana convictions can get access to Equity licenses. Essentially, this is the state’s attempt to undo the damage of the drug war. While this is a nice gesture, the biggest problem for people who have a state or federal marijuana record is that – they typically don’t have any funds.
Since starting up a successful cannabis venture requires a lot of money. And so, big firms are searching for people who can essentially “partner” with them for access to the equity licenses, and in turn, everybody wins!
Well – at first!
Then, after a while, the firm can buy out the license and keep it under the name holder, add it to their portfolio, and essentially muscle out the affected communities!
And why wouldn’t you do that. The state has this entire scheme of licenses that can’t really be touched by the affected community due to their lack of financing. Even if they got financing as well, it’s very different to run a successful cannabis business than selling weed out of the trunk of your car.
Having a marijuana conviction doesn’t immediately make you an expert in selling marijuana in a legal environment. In fact, one would argue that having a marijuana conviction indicates that you were impoverished enough that risking your freedom for the promise of money was “worth it”.
These aren’t the type of people who necessarily can run a dispensary, check payroll, pay the lights, taxes, etc.
Therefore, it makes sense that corporations want to jump in, float the hefty bill of running the place, and then siphon off money from these equity licensing for years to come.
This is why a new civil lawsuit is being issued against the state of Arizona by an advocacy group who claim the state have failed to protect these minority communities from corporate overreach.
The new legal complaint argues that the social equity program has failed to meet the standards laid out in Prop 207, the ballot initiative voters passed last year that legalized marijuana and has allowed thousands of Arizonans to expunge prior marijuana charges. Through Prop 207, voters directed the state to create a program that promoted dispensary ownership by people who were disproportionately impacted by marijuana laws — which, in Arizona, often was poor, Black and Latino communities.
But since the draft rules for the social equity program were released, advocates warned that major cannabis investors might easily game the system. And now, Rodriguez says that’s what she’s seeing.
“What the voters were trying to do was enrich communities that were impacted by the drug war.” Jimmy Cool, the lead attorney on the case, told New Times. “From our clients’ perspective, all [the program] does is enrich 26 people.” – SOURCE
And that’s the truth with virtually all of these schemes.
Why Social Equity fails!
It’s easy for a millionaire to sit down, analyze the problems of the poor and say, “Do this and you’ll achieve that!” The problem with the millionaire is that he or she does not share the same values, needs, and desires as that as a poor person.
Therefore, “thinking” from the perspective of an affluent individual can never understand the nuances needed for the affected to truly succeed. The Social Equity licensing is a solution produced by the affluent to whitewash their “drug war” guilt.
It’s an invention by woke-corporatism to show they care, when in reality they profited off the war on drugs and will profit on the legalization of drugs too.
The main problem with Social Equity is;
Limited licenses creates artificial value
The costs associated with cannabis is still high
You still need corporate to run a cannabis store
Since costs are so exuberant, it’s impossible for someone who spent years in jail to raise capital. Without access to banking loans, or even the experience of running a successful business – the only solution to these “equity license” holders are to partner with some money-hungry firm.
The solution is a 2-Tier Cannabis Industry
I have said this once, and I’ll say this again. The ONLY real solution is to create a distinction between corporate cannabis, and “mom and pop” operations.
The biggest problem with the lower strata of society is that the fees associated with the cannabis industry reflect the budgets of big corporations, while the rest of us are working on Farmer’s Market budgets.
Which is why we need to create a system that allows people of the lower income bracket to be able to build a business without needing too much investment. We can also reduce the burden on these businesses by reducing the strictness on testing, etc.
My plan has always been;
$1000 for a yearly license for cannabis operations earning up to $1,000,000 in profits annually. Once the $1,000,000 thresh hold is met, then the corporate cannabis scheme can come into play.
This gives people the opportunity to be able to grow a business from the ground up. What this will also mean is that there would be no “Equity licenses”. Anybody would be able to get it for $1,000.
If you can’t get $1k together, you might not deserve a cannabis license.
This also gives these equity license holders the opportunity to grow a business from the ground up, hire local talent, and undo the damages of the drug war.
Yet, we must first separate the need to add in social equity into every bill, because before you know it – the corporations will gobble up all those licenses and then we’re all screwed.
There’s a reason why Schumer hasn’t been able to pass any cannabis legislation. It’s because of these social equity laws. While it’s nice to think about those effected by the Drug War, unless you bring actual solutions that can be scaled by the affected demographic – you’re just making up millionaire solutions to the impoverished who can never attain the standards set by the elite.
Reduce legalization to what it is; a plant that needs to be cultivated, processed and sold, There needs to be no social equity written into the core of legalization.
Rather, each state could create investment clubs via taxation, however – understanding the nature of politics…unless we push back and remove their social equity language from the legalization efforts – the Arizona dilemma will only continue everywhere else in the US.
Make weed legal, make it cheap to get involved, and allow these small businesses a grace period to grow. And you’ll see the net benefit would far outweigh social equity laws.