Sacramento Considering Increasing Number of Cannabis Businesses to Promote Minority Ownership

Sacramento is considering lifting its cap on the number of marijuana dispensaries allowed in the city in an effort to promote diversity in the cannabis industry. 

The city of Sacramento has enforced a strict 30 dispensary limit since 2014, and has refused to add any. Even when the state of California legalized recreational marijuana, most of the city's 30 medical marijuana dispensaries simply began selling recreational cannabis. However, none of the 30 dispensaries in Sacramento are owned by a black person.

The city attempted to address this issue in August by introducing the CORE program, an initiative that would waive permit fees for dispensaries in an effort to allow minority entrepreneurs to start cannabis businesses. However, the CORE program is mostly useless because the city still has a cap on the number of dispensaries that can be in operation. So while the program may make it easier for minorities to start marijuana dispensaries, it would still be impossible for them to do so.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg defended the CORE program despite the dispensary limit by saying that if one of the city's existing dispensaries were to shut down, a CORE applicant would get preference to take over. 

The Sacramento City Council's Law and Legislation Committee will begin to discuss plans to increase the number of dispensaries in the city, although they said not to expect an expansion until 2020 at the earliest.

(h/t Sacramento Bee)

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