“I had suggested a broad definition for a social equity candidate in early stakeholder meetings. Fearing it was not moving fast enough and not inclusive enough of a process, I hired Ms. Sovine to assist me in ensuring that all stakeholders and all potential social equity candidates were included.”
DENVER (PRWEB) June 16, 2020
Longtime cannabis activist and entrepreneur, Larisa Bolivar, who is Executive Director of the Cannabis Consumers Coalition and CEO of Bolivar Hemp Company, is happy to report that a bill she hired longtime lobbyist Cindy Sovine to craft to define social equity candidates. Colorado House Bill 20-1424 Social Equity in Regulated Cannabis Businesses was also amended to add the ability for the governor to pardon cannabis crimes to expunge criminal records and enable more people who were harmed by the War on Drugs to
The bill also enables the industry to move forward on an accelerator licensing program passed last year by Coloradans in the sunset bill, SB 19-224, as well as enable Denver to move forward for their social equity goals. Last year, Coloradans also passed social consumption and delivery bills which will allow for social equity licensees to also apply for making this bill extremely urgent for Colorado and Denver to meet social equity goals.
“I had suggested a broad definition for a social equity candidate in early stakeholder meetings. Fearing it was not moving fast enough and not inclusive enough of a process, I hired Ms. Sovine to assist me in ensuring that all stakeholders and all potential social equity candidates were included.” States Ms. Bolivar about the need to push the bill through during a very hectic time during a pandemic.
The bill, which was a last-minute bill introduced on June 9th during a flurry of other bills being rushed through the Colorado General Assembly in the wake of COVID and other major issues needing to be heard such as vaccinations and police body cams. There was a significant risk that the bill would die waiting to be heard, and Ms. Sovine was very diligent in ensuring that the bill was relevant and in ensuring that the bill received bipartisan support.
Having bipartisan support was not an easy task, and Republicans to have a significant say because social equity is also a free market issue. Any restrictions on the market go against free market principles. And, considering the current racial tension in the United States, it is remarkable that Colorado passed a social equity bill with bipartisan support, making this bill even more monumental. Plus, this also enable the creation of pathways to be developed for real ownership with support along the way. Ms. Bolivar has experience developing roadmaps to success for social equity programs and won a $650 thousand workforce development grant from the state of California.
“I know we can have a successful social equity program and the state can now make rules around grant and loan money from marijuana tax revenues. This is a double win for me considering I headed the campaign that was against high marijuana taxes.” Ms. Bolivar continues, “And, I can help along the way from outreach, to training, to internship and placed into management positions or successfully open up their own licensed cannabis shop.”
There are multiple possibilities that will result from this monumental and historical bill. The biggest win is the ability to create real ownership opportunities and economic stability for community members most harmed by the War on Drugs and begin repairing those harms. For more information, please call Larisa Bolivar at 703-244-4857.