Seattle mayor Harrell signs 3 bills aimed at increasing equity in cannabis industry
SEATTLE - Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell signed three pieces of legislation that aim to create equity policies in the cannabis industry and "fight to repair past harms in the war on drugs."
The three pieces of legislation:
- Expresses the City of Seattle’s intent to: engage in cannabis equity, expungement of cannabis convictions, equity work and funding, and develop a needs assessment for needs within the workforce and cannabis industry
- Advances equity in cannabis licensing and expands licensed activities
- Requires employers to take action to develop job retention, security, and stability within the cannabis industry
"Today’s Cannabis Equity legislation sets us on a path towards restoring harms created by the War on Drugs, and City and State policies," said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who sponsored the bill. "Thanks to the coalition of advocates – including UFCW 3000, the Freedom Project, Black Excellence in Cannabis – and thanks to Mayor Harrell’s team, we are taking the first of many steps towards policies that center workers, those harmed by the War on Drugs, and displaced Black medical marijuana license holders. As one of the first areas to legalize cannabis, we also need to step up on implementing equity and reparations in the cannabis industry."
"I am very pleased to see that this joint effort between my office, the Council, FAS and community stakeholders has resulted in the passage of this suite of bills. This is a first – but necessary – step toward equity long overdue in the cannabis industry," said Mayor Harrell. "The work still to come will highlight additional opportunities for improvement in our current system, and I look forward to the recommendations that result from the Cannabis Needs Assessment. This work won’t be easy, but I believe together we can foster an open conversation between workers, community members and industry leaders to identify common priorities and align on efforts to advance our shared values of equity and restoration."
The bills are effective 30 days after Harrell signs the legislation into law. The bill that pertains to job retention will be applied nine months after the effective date in an effort to allow for the Office of Labor Standards to prepare for implementation.
Seattle City Council approved the bills on Sept. 7.