State Rep. Juanita O. Brent (D-Cleveland) held a press conference today to discuss the 73 new medical marijuana dispensary licenses set to be released this year.
The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program currently plans to release the licenses through the same flawed process as was used previously, rather than addressing its major problems, including a lack of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. Of the 114 dispensary owners in Ohio, only 9 are people of color.
“This lottery system is not enough, if we really want to deal with the racial disparities when it comes to ownership of licenses,” said Rep. Brent. “Equity is the standard, not an option.”
Nikcole Ross (owner of Noohra labs), Ally Reaves (Founder of Midwest CannaWomen), Herb Washington (Owner of Leaf Relief dispensary) and State Representative Thomas West (D-Canton) also spoke at the press conference. Dispensary owners, medical marijuana patients, and advocates attended the press conference to show support for making the dispensary license process more inclusive.
The press conference can be viewed at https://www.ohiochannel.org/collections/press-conference.