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Record No: CB 120392    Version: Council Bill No: CB 120392
Type: Ordinance (Ord) Status: Passed
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 9/6/2022
Ordinance No: Ord 126664
Title: AN ORDINANCE relating to licensing cannabis businesses in Seattle; establishing social equity applicant criteria for cannabis businesses; setting fees for cannabis businesses; expanding the purposes for which a cannabis license may be issued in the future; updating references in the code to "cannabis"; and amending Chapter 6.500 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
Sponsors: Teresa Mosqueda
Attachments: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note
Supporting documents: 1. Central Staff Memo, 2. Presentation, 3. Amendment 1
CITY OF SEATTLE
ORDINANCE __________________
COUNCIL BILL __________________
title
AN ORDINANCE relating to licensing cannabis businesses in Seattle; establishing social equity applicant criteria for cannabis businesses; setting fees for cannabis businesses; expanding the purposes for which a cannabis license may be issued in the future; updating references in the code to "cannabis"; and amending Chapter 6.500 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
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WHEREAS, the unequal enforcement of cannabis laws has resulted in racially disproportionate arrests and incarcerations causing inter-generational poverty, housing insecurity, loss of education and employment opportunities, disruption of family structures, and other burdens; and
WHEREAS, Initiative 502, the 2012 ballot measure that legalized recreational use of cannabis by adults over 21 years of age in the State of Washington, did not include provisions or create programs to acknowledge the disproportionate harms the enforcement of cannabis laws has had on certain populations and communities, primarily Black communities; and
WHEREAS, Seattle cannabis businesses are owned primarily by White men. This is also reflected nationally, as entry into the industry requires personal/generational wealth and a clean criminal record. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board released ownership demographic data to the City of Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) in 2018 and 2020 that confirms this disparity. As of January 2020, 42 of Seattle's 48 cannabis retail stores had White majority ownership, and 37 of those stores were owned by White men; and
WHEREAS, recognizing these disparities, FAS launched a Racial Equity Toolkit (RET) in 2018 to examine racial disparities in the licensing of cannabis businesses in Seattle. Through research and multiple engagements with hundreds of community stakeholders, the RET process resulted in community recommendations to address disproportionate ownership of Seattle...

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