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Minnesota to Give $15m Reparations to Communities Harmed by Cannabis Prohibition 

From 2026, Minesotta is planning on handing out $15 million in reparations to communities that have experienced direct harm of cannabis prohibition.

Citizens in Minesotta are able to legally purchase adult use cannabis after the state enacted a bill that was signed into law on 30 May, 2023, which came into effect on 1 August 2023.

Under the bill – HF 100 – The Office of Cannabis Management will be establishing

‘CanRenew’ – a programme that will be awarding grants to eligible organizations for investments in communities where long-term residents are eligible to be social equity applicants.

The grant will be supporting projects that aim to improve community-wide outcomes which “may include efforts targeting economic development, improving social determinants of health, violence prevention, youth development, or civil legal aid, among others.”

Those that will be eligible for the grants include people who were convicted of an offense themselves, or those who has family members convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of cannabis prior to May 1, 2023; is a service-disabled veteran who lost ‘honourable status’ due to an offense involving the possession or sale of cannabis; has been a resident for the last five years of one or more subareas that experienced a disproportionately large amount of cannabis enforcement, among other criteria.

READ MORE: Federal Appeals Court Rules Ban Preventing Cannabis Users Possessing Guns Is Unconstitutional

Speaking on CBD News Minesotta, sponsor of the bill Senator Lindsey Port, who has described the grants as “a form of reparation”, commented: “We put a really strong emphasis on social equity applicants.

“So, people who are from communities who have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis sales, people who’ve had folks in their own family who have been incarcerated due to cannabis, people from communities of colour, emerging farmers, things like that, who we really looked at the equity of this bill to make sure that it wasn’t just people who had a bunch of money that they could jump in right away, jumped to the front of the line, but actually the communities that have been most harmed are at the front of the line.

“I think everyone has seen that prohibition has failed and looking at ways that our communities can start to reap some of the benefits of the tax revenue. Looking at the folks who will not have to struggle to get housing, because they have a past conviction on their record. Those are huge pluses for our communities. and really, the overwhelming is the word I would use for the support in my own community.”

Following Biden’s call for states to expunge cannabis convictions, the state wil also be the first state in the US to make expungement of cannbis convictions automatic – whereas in other states citizens will have to apply for expungement.

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