Just over two years into the state’s social equity initiative, a bill proposing to overhaul the program was introduced on January 9, the first day of the 2023 legislative session
The first state in the nation to allow recreational marijuana sales, Colorado has been criticized for not having social equity provisions for communities impacted by the drug war in place from the start. While several state measures and Denver initiatives have tried to make up for lost time and past injustices, the proposal from Representative Naquetta Ricks would add a slew of new features to the state program, including preferential delivery opportunities for social equity businesses and changes to Colorado’s social equity licensing requirements.
Approved by lawmakers in 2020, Colorado’s marijuana social equity definition requires applicants to prove one of the following: They or their families were arrested on certain drug charges, they earn less than 50 percent of the Colorado median income, or they come from a community designated as a low-economic opportunity zone by the state. In the two-plus years since its implementation, however, the program has been knocked for allowing established marijuana business owners and companies operating in multiple states to take advantage of that definition.
“This is about trying to figure