The governor of Colorado signed a bill on Monday that will promote social equity in the state’s marijuana market and also give him power to unilaterally issue pardons for prior cannabis convictions.
Gov. Jared Polis (D) approved the legislation during a signing ceremony at a minority-owned dispensary in Denver.
The bill will create a statewide definition for which businesses qualify as cannabis social equity license applicants. Those applicants will be able to benefit from an accelerator program that was already in the works, enabling them to use existing cannabis facilities to build their business.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. James Coleman (D), will establish two additional categories for eligibility, with a focus on restorative justice for communities harmed by enforcement of the war on drugs.