Announcement of a Joint Cannabis Task Force

Initiative 71 created one of the most dynamic and racially diverse cannabis industries in the nation. The i-71 Committee is committed to continuing to work with the D.C. Council to build a pathway for social equity in our cannabis industry. The recent actions of ABRA and the abrupt announcement of a Joint Cannabis Task Force, without the consultation of any local legacy cannabis operators, does not appear to be in good faith. Government transparency is a legal and moral responsibility for D.C. officials.

ABRA’s announcement of their intention to inspect businesses without clear guidelines is arbitrary, vague and designed to destabilize and intimidate law-abiding DC entrepreneurs.

It is unclear what political motivations are driving ABRA’s recent announcement of their intention to aggressively target legacy cannabis businesses. ABRA’s announcement is not reflective of the overwhelming will of D.C. residents who voted to legalize recreational cannabis in 2014 with resounding support.

This task force should immediately release: the list of agencies involved in the inspections; the process they will use to identify non-compliance; and most importantly, clarity on what small business owners, like ourselves, can expect when a swarm of government inspectors descend on our businesses, a majority of which are owned and operated by people of color.

We hope to continue working alongside DC officials towards a future that supports social equity in our cannabis industry.

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