The calls for social equity in cannabis continue to grow louder as the market matures and more states come online. While most in the space support social equity, its implementation and the market's taxation has the sector debating the need for high taxes to fund equitable efforts.
The topic is far from new in cannabis. Michigan, one of the top-performing markets in the country, recently debated new sales taxes aimed at improving diversity and helping disadvantaged groups in the industry through millions in taxes raised.
New York, a state debating the prospect of adult use legalization once again, is discussing how much of its estimated $300 million in annual tax revenue to allocate to social reform.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed that $100 million go towards communities most impacted by the war on drugs.
Those working in the space tell Benzinga that social equity is of the utmost importance, but questions and opposition to the high tax route exist.
Uncertain Of High Taxes As Key To Social Equity Success
SF Roots founder and CEO Morris Kelly believes enough tax is already being collected to support adequate equity programs. People tend to get turned off at the prospect of new taxes, but the endeavor is just in its effort to support companies that often don't receive fair access to capital.
Kelly calls for all states to track precisely where their tax revenue is going.
"Given the amount of taxes already collected in this industry, it shouldn't be impossible to set funds aside to support businesses without raising taxes," he says.
John Sullivan, EVP Government Affairs at Cresco Labs Inc. (OTCQX: CRLBF), also says access to funding is the …