SAVE DC I-71 Businesses
We did it! DC I-7I advocates came together with immense speed and force over the past couple days and these businesses have been saved, at least for now. Around midday today reports started coming in, especially over Twitter, that the language around I-71 fines and penalties was being stricken from the bill.
Minutes later the DCist published confirmation and mentioned that the bill likely would have been voted down and the issue dropped altogether if put forward as originally written. This means that DC council members heard our voices! Note there's still a great deal of uncertainty here and more organization and action is still needed, most prudently around the Nov. 19th meeting on DC recreational regulations. Stay tuned and subscribe for more information on how you can join the movement to protect these homegrown businesses and help give them a fair and equitable path for the future!
(Below originally published 10/29/21)
On Oct 28th, The Council of the District of Columbia published a memorandum requesting that measures relating to the Medical Marijuana Patient Access and Illicit Market Enforcement Emergency Declaration Act and Resolution of 2021 be submitted to the agenda for the November 2, 2021 legislative meeting. The memo goes on to indicate that it will be "responding to threats posed by illegal cannabis storefronts and delivery services" by authorizing license revocation, fines, and civil penalties for those businesses and their "housing providers". You can view a pdf of the memorandum below:
It is deeply important for residents of DC (and beyond) to unite and stand up for the small businesses who have worked so hard and built so much, all to best serve cannabis consumers of the District. The vast majority of DC I-71 business owners and workers are people of color. Shuttering these storefronts and delivery businesses would put thousands of people out of work, and have a devastating and lasting effect on POC in DC. It would also dramatically reduce access to and supply of cannabis for DC residents, thus leading to substantially higher prices as well.
Washington DC cannabis consumers must demand a pathway to legal recreational cannabis sales in the District PRIOR to the implementation of any of these harsh punishments for existing I-71 vendors. Currently, there is another Legislative Meeting on the books for November 19th which proposes the establishment of an advisory committee to provide recommendations to the renamed Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration about the retail sale of recreational cannabis. However, there is no timeline provided or guidance given to the existing shops, and the memo makes it clear that they will face legal risk in the meantime.
These hundreds of companies have been following "gifting" guidelines and working hard to build valuable, life-sustaining businesses, all while imploring local government officials for guidance, regulation, banking, and other important aspects desperately needed in the industry. Instead of hearing these calls and responding in a responsible manner, the local DC government has decided to wipe them out far in advance of any recreational framework. We should all be asking them - at a minimum - why?
We are calling for all who are able to gather outside and/or attend the Council's Legislative Meeting on Nov 2, 2021. Note that public access is offered in a virtual format, and we're currently looking at ways to attend and enter public comment both in person and virtually. Here's the meeting information and links to view:
Council of the District of Columbia Legislative Meeting
Tuesday, November 02, 2021
Virtual Meeting Platform
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, DC, 20004
– On the Council site, at https://bit.ly/2ooL0l1
– On the OCTFME site, at https://bit.ly/2JNZIro
– On TV, Channel 13 or 18
More information on how to organize and fight this unfair move by DC government is forthcoming. To stay up to date on this and to continue finding the best weed in DC please subscribe below: