The Next Set of Licenses
The state of New Jersey is currently reviewing 146 applications from 106 organizations to operate vertically integrated medical marijuana dispensaries within state borders. This means six successful applicants will be permitted to operate a dispensary, as well as cultivating and manufacturing facilities. Today, there are six ATCs already operating in NJ; one of them is minority owned. If we are concerned with equality and diversification, then we need to promote minorities, women, and veterans in the workplace. This almost seems like perfect timing to make a pivotal and generational impact. Equality means that five of the six licenses that would be distributed Fall 2018 would be minority owned.
What do they mean to New Jersey?
These new Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) are here to help supply the increasing demand from our patients in New Jersey. NJ patient population has surpassed 30,000 and with the direction of the policy, it is anticipated to increase. The next sets of ATCs are going to have a fill a demand for a therapy that has been unjustly restricted for so long.
Why does diversity matter?
It is important for people of New Jersey to understand how important diversity is going to be in this next ballot of licenses. In 1937, the United States government enforced the prohibition of cannabis by passing a law. This law was based entirely on lies, and has altered the lives of millions of people for nearly 100 years. Today the lies have been brought to light and the American people are demanding to once again, have legal access to their medicine!
Previous administrations have supported the prohibition of Cannabis, and since then have used this plant as a tool to keep their prisons filled with young people, especially people of color. People of color have been unfairly targeted, processed, and sentenced to long prison terms and/or tarnished reputations. This makes a huge difference in the life of the individual being targeted, and their families.
Victims often face being kicked out of their housing situations. It’s pretty simple; if you get felony drug charges and live in public housing you will be subject to lose your home. If you are not removed from the home then the entire family occupying the residence will be then removed from the home. Young minority people from challenged cities are being stripped from their families, homes, and opportunities. They will no longer have access to financial aid and will be disqualified from many jobs with their new criminal background. This viscous cycle inevitably leads to more altercations with law enforcement, and needs to be stopped. It is time to change our views surrounding the world’s most beneficial plant.
You can find contributor Anthony J. Symeonidis on Instagram: @antjxck