As we at Dutchie continue to evolve as an organization, we plan to level up our business growth by enriching our surrounding communities. One of the major steps we have made toward repairing harm to underrepresented communities is our budding partnership with NuLeaf Project.
Partnership with NuLeaf
Led by Executive Director Jeanette Ward Horton, NuLeaf Project (NLP) is a non-profit organization aimed at opening up cannabis business opportunities for all. NLP’s efforts are focused on reducing the harm to Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x professionals from past cannabis criminalization. In addition to mentoring entrepreneurs, NLP spends a great deal of its time fighting systems of inequality and repairing the harm done to communities by the War on Drugs.
Oregon Cannabis Equity Act
In June of 2020, NuLeaf Project joined Representative Akasha Lawrence Spence and Willamette Law School’s SSDP to create House Bill 3112. After many long workgroup hours, the bill became finalized in early 2021. The official bill, entitled “Equity Investment Act,” underwent its second hearing at the The Oregon House Judiciary Committee on March 23rd. We were thrilled to support the lobbying efforts pushing this bill.
Our Instagram announced the partnership with this collaborative graphic. It represents our interest in equalizing the legality of cannabis for all communities.
Additional sponsors include prominent cannabis brands Siren Cannabis, Wana Brands, WYLD, and many more.
What the Bill Will Do
HB 3112 highlights a change in the cannabis industry that we are ready to embrace. To facilitate business opportunities, the bill provides the following:
- The reallocation of tax dollars to fund the Reparative Justice Fund, which provides for:
- Expedited OLCC licenses and increased OLCC support
- License fee reduction and financial business support
- Free and automatic cannabis crime expungement
- Investment back into the Black, Indigenous, and Latinx community
The progress of the bill is becoming more expansive, and encompasses laws that provide free, automatic expungement for current cannabis convictions. The amendments are being addressed for constituents who have expressed concern, but overall the proposed bill has been well received. Jeannette who is leading the charge, comments on the progress of the bill:
“The 80+ member workgroup knew going into this we were going to face challenges. Shaking up the status quo can be scary to some but it’s worth it. We will pass a bill that creates equity for Oregon's most vulnerable communities and creates a more vibrant, innovative, diverse cannabis industry.”
We are past the age of cannabis prohibition, and looking for ways to repair the previous damage done. Reparative justice is a big part of the bill. These communities have not had a fair chance to experience economic growth, wealth, or success. The cannabis industry needs to be an all-inclusive business and we feel it is an honor to be a part of the evolution of cannabis. If you want to support the bill, you can easily sign the petition. If passed, the Cannabis Equity Act will take effect within six months to a year at the most. You can also track the progress of the bill on Oregon Legislature’s site here.