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US: Washington DC bill would let cannabis convicts work in medical industry

The D.C. Council is considering a bill that would take steps towards repealing the prohibition on returning citizens working in the medical cannabis industry.

The bill, introduced Friday by five councilmembers, would seek to change the stipulation in the D.C. Code, repealing a section of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1999 that prevents anyone with a felony conviction or misdemeanor cannabis offense from being an employee, director, agent, or member of a medical dispensary or cultivation center.

The bill also proposes the creation of a program that provides incentives for residents applying for licenses to start dispensaries, cultivation centers, and cannabis testing labs that are more than 50% owned by returning citizens.

“When the District first enacted this prohibition, it was in part out of concern that allowing returning citizens to participate might invite federal intervention. These concerns were understandable at the time, but the expansion of this industry across the country and changing perceptions of the use of medical cannabis has made that concern obsolete,” White said in an emailed statement. “The District cannot continue to bar returning citizens from an industry that offers good paying local jobs.”


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