HARTFORD, CT – House Speaker Matt Ritter (D – Hartford) and House Majority Leader Jason Rojas (D – East Hartford, Manchester) are accepting applications for their appointments to the Social Equity Council that is established under legislation Governor Ned Lamont signed into law on June 22 legalizing the use of cannabis for adults over 21 years old.
The Social Equity Council will develop programs and supports to encourage individuals from communities disproportionately harmed by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition to participate in the cannabis market. The Council will be comprised of 15 members, 11 of which will be appointed by legislative leaders, the Governor, and the Connecticut General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus chair.
“We are seeking applications from qualified individuals who want to shape Connecticut’s newly-established cannabis market and steer it in the direction of equity and prosperity for those who have been harmed the most by cannabis prohibition. The Council will help mold the cannabis industry in Connecticut into an equitable market that begins the work of righting decades of damage sanctioned by state policy enacted during the failed war on drugs,” said Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas.
The Council is also charged with reviewing and accepting cannabis business licenses submitted by social equity applicants. These applicants are individuals whose household income falls below 300 percent of the state median; have been residents of a disproportionately impacted area for at least 5 years before applying for a license or 9 years prior to turning 18 years old. This provision of the bill is intended to ameliorate the destruction of cannabis prohibition on communities and ensure discriminatory patterns are no longer perpetuated or emerge in the future.
Candidates for the Speaker’s appointment must have worked in social justice or civil rights for at least 5 years. The Majority Leader’s appointment must have at least 5 years of professional experience in economic development focused on aiding minority-owned businesses.
No member of the Social Equity Council may have any management or financial interest in the cultivation, manufacture, sale, transportation, delivery or testing of cannabis in Connecticut. They must not profit in any way from sales or purchases.
Individuals can complete an application for Speaker Ritter and House Majority Leader Rojas’ appointments to the Social Equity Council by clicking here. Applications must be submitted before July 9. Interested residents can email CannabisSocialEquityCouncil@cga.ct.gov for further details.