Policymakers in Arizona unveiled rules last week for a social equity cannabis program aimed at giving communities most affected by pot prohibition opportunities in the state’s newly regulated recreational cannabis market.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that the state’s Department of Health Services issued the final draft of its report on the social equity ownership program last Thursday.
According to the Daily Star, the “major changes” issued by the department include “clearing up language around the transferability of a social equity license,” by barring “applicants from entering into prior agreements with larger retailers to sell or take over an applicant’s license.”
The Department of Health Services also voted to lower the initial application fee to $4,000 from $5,000, according to the Daily Star.
The social equity ownership program is “intended to promote the ownership and operation of licensed Marijuana Establishments by individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws,” according to the state’s Department of Health Services.
“Social equity license holders will be required to comply with all statutes and rules that govern Adult-Use Marijuana Establishment licenses, including obtaining approval to operate before opening their retail location,” the department stated. “Additionally, social equity license holders will be required to develop and implement policies to document how the Marijuana Establishment will provide a benefit to one or more communities disproportionately affected by the enforcement of Arizona’s previous marijuana laws.”
The program is born out of Proposition 207, which was passed by Arizona voters last year and legalized recreational marijuana use for adults in the state. Proposition 207 also contained a requirement for the state to “promote the ownership and operation of marijuana