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Washington lawmaker faces allegations she derailed the social equity cannabis program

\An independent investigation found a Washington state representative took steps behind the scene to silence BIPOC business owners. Rep. Melanie Morgan, D-Parkland, faces allegations that she derailed the Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force.

The findings come after a workplace misconduct investigation, commissioned by the state House of Representatives, was initiated after a Task Force staff member accused Morgan of abusive and bullying behavior.

Mike Asai with Black Excellence in Cannabis has been keeping close tabs on the Task Force since it was created in 2020 because he has a lot at stake. "We're fighting for inclusion, and we won't stop until we see proper inclusion," he said.

Asai owned one of the first medical cannabis retailers in downtown Seattle. He's been trying to get a new cannabis retail license from the state for about six years. There are currently no Black-owned dispensaries in the City of Seattle. Many have accused the Task Force of not moving quickly enough to give BIPOC entrepreneurs access to cannabis licenses. 

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