On June 29, Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 1421 into law, which will promote social equity in the state’s marijuana market and also allows him to issue mass pardons to Coloradans with minor marijuana possession convictions.
“There’s too many people that have a prior conviction for personal amounts of cannabis fully legal today that prevent them from getting loans, from getting leases, from raising capital, from getting licenses, from getting jobs, from getting mortgages, and that’s wrong,” Polis said during a press conference. “We hope that this measure will be a first step for new opportunities for thousands of Coloradans who should not be living with a cloud over their head simply because they were a little bit ahead of their time.”
Polis signed the bill at Wanda James and Scott Durrah’s Denver-based dispensary Simply Pure. The husband and wife are the first Black couple in the nation to own a dispensary, a cultivation center and an edible-product manufacturing facility, according to the company’s website.
Larisa Bolivar, director of the Cannabis Consumers Coalition, said after the signing that the fight for social equity in the cannabis industry is “far from over.” Watch the press conference at tinyurl.com/SigningBill1421.
Group predicts 1,000 new jobs if Springs allows RMJ
A new report released by local economist Neal Rappaport concludes that up to 1,000 new jobs would be added to the Colorado Springs economy if the citywide ban on retail marijuana is lifted. Since February, more than 43,000 people have lost their jobs in the Pikes Peak region.
“Every new job created helps one person and their family on the road to recovery,” said City Councilor Jill Gaebler, who supports placing a measure on November’s ballot that would ask voters to lift the local ban.
Five City Council votes are needed to refer a measure to the ballot, which isn’t subject to veto by Mayor John Suthers, who opposes such a measure. “I do think we do have five council members that would support allowing citizens of our city to make that decision,” Gaebler said.
Theodore Weiss, a spokesperson for Together for Colorado Springs, the community organization pushing for a vote to lift the recreational marijuana sales moratorium, added, “During a period of unusual hardship, lifting the ban on retail marijuana sales makes sense in both economic and human terms. Colorado Springs residents should be able to vote on this issue in November.”
(Disclosure: Indy chairman John Weiss is a founder of Together for Colorado Springs, but has stepped away from the paper during this campaign.)