New Washington State Regulations Allow People with Previous Convictions to Obtain Cannabis Licenses
According to current regulations, a felony conviction within the past ten years disqualifies applicants for cultivation, processing and retail licenses. According to a local report from KXLY.com, the new rules that come into effect in Washington on October 2 will allow people with previous convictions to obtain cannabis licenses.
Under current regulations, a felony conviction in the past ten years disqualifies applicants for cultivation, processing and retail licenses, the outlet reports.
The convictions for minor misdemeanors as well as their "non-disclosure" (no entry in the criminal record) and the misdemeanors of resale, also disqualify the applicants under the current rules.
When the new regulations come into force next month, a serious felony conviction in the past ten years will still lead to a thorough review of the application, but it will no longer be an obstacle to the licensing process, according to KXLY. com.
Additionally, a Class C felony on an applicant's record, or fewer than three misdemeanor convictions in the past three years, will not result in further consideration of the claim under the new rules, according to the outlet. .
Nicola Reid, head of compliance and communications for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB), told KXLY.com that the regulatory update is intended to ease some barriers to entry that have prevented many people, especially those from communities disproportionately affected by prohibition, from accessing the state's legal cannabis industry.
Regulators denied 43 requests based on criminal background checks, KXLY.com reports. Washington currently has around 1800 licensed cannabis companies, but Mr Reid said the rules could have deterred many people with previous convictions from applying for a license.
Before, a person who looked at the rules said to himself "With my criminal record, I would never have a license" Now we want to be aware of that and that offenses and crimes relating to cannabis are no longer an obstacle.
Why allow criminals?
Disparities in arrest rates for people of color are evident in many states, and Washington state is no different.
A study conducted by the Marijuana Arrest Research Projectt, titled “240000 Arrests for Possession of Marijuana. Costs, Consequences, and Racial Disparities of the 1986-2010 Washington Possession Arrests, ”revealed that although African Americans and Latinos use marijuana at lower rates than whites, African Americans have been arrested. for marijuana-related offenses at a rate 2,9 times that of whites in this state. Latinos were arrested at a rate 1,6 times that of whites.
Several states that have legalized marijuana also offer the option to convicts to erase their files. These efforts by states that have legalized or decriminalized are part of a national trend aimed at making it easier for people to seal or erase a series of convictions.