By Cesar Casamayor and Gidai Maaza
The People’s Dispensary Fresno is hosting a cannabis town hall on May 6 at the First Congregational Church (aka Big Red Church, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd. As the city of Fresno plans to announce its licensing process and social equity regulations, the People’s Dispensary continues to push for accountability and help author meaningful policies that create better economic development for communities affected by the war on drugs.
Now is also the time to make grand plans for the families living in our damaged neighborhoods. The latter will rely on social equity, the social equity process that community constructs by investing in its least advantaged people, supporting entrepreneurship opportunities, job creation and small business development, including legal roles within the marijuana industry.
It is not necessary to follow the old ways of investing in communities that cater to services. This new funding stream should be used in a less bureaucratic manner where funds can be readily available for projects in communities affected by the war on drugs.
The panel for the cannabis town hall are individuals with diverse knowledge of the cannabis industry, state/national legislation, entrepreneurship, health advocacy and workforce development in/out of the industry. Fresno City Council Member Miguel Arias, who represents District 3, who from the onset of his campaign committed to an equitable industry, will discuss his vision for Fresno’s emerging legal cannabis industry.
Every sector of Fresno has a role, duty and responsibility to speak for a fair and equitable cannabis industry that will affect our city.
The Fresno People’s Dispensary is an affiliate of the National People’s Dispensary, which is based in Oakland. The organization’s equity principles have improved and informed those adopted by municipalities across the state and nation.
Fresno residents Cesar Casamayor and Gidai Maaza are co-founders of the Fresno People’s Dispensary. Follow them on instagram @MYTPD.FRES.