Washington State Legislative Task Force on Social Equity in Cannabis Disproportionately Impacted Communities Work Group
(WA SECTF - Work Group - Disproportionately Impacted Communities)

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The Washington State Legislative Task Force on Social Equity in Cannabis (WA SECTF) was established during the 2020 legislative session as part of HB 2870 and expanded in 2021 through HB 1443. The purpose of the task force is to make recommendations to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) including but not limited to establishing a social equity program for the issuance and reissuance of existing retail marijuana licenses, and to advise the Governor and the Legislature on policies that would facilitate development of a marijuana social equity program. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House were responsible for appointing 20 members to the task force.

The WA SECTF is standing up work groups to assist with developing recommendations. The Disproportionately Impacted Communities Work Group (WA SECTF - Work Group - Disproportionately Impacted Communities) was established to develop recommendations to the WSLCB and the Washington State Department of Commerce to help those agencies refine eligibility and prioritization criteria for issuing future social equity retail cannabis licenses and technical assistance grants.

No More Drug War

WA SECTF - Work Group - Disproportionately Impacted Communities - Public Meeting (April 13, 2021) - Lessons Learned

A presentation on cannabis social equity programs outside Washington state showcased the benefits of using data to qualify equity applicants and risks of relying solely on racial identities.

Constitution - Levels of Scrutiny

WA SECTF - Work Group - Disproportionately Impacted Communities - Public Meeting (March 24, 2021) - WA OAG Presentation

The attorney general’s office described the “strict scrutiny” standard federal courts applied to laws utilizing race-based criteria and how that related to the work group’s development of social equity program applicant criteria.

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