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Equity Council chair explains why rich towns might get social equity cannabis funds

Luis Vega at Wepa Farms
Ryan Caron King
/
Connecticut Public
Hemp plants in the grow room of Wepa! Farms in North Haven, Conn. The CEO and founder, Luis Vega, is the state’s first Latino hemp farmer.

Connecticut’s 2021 marijuana legalization act was intended to cultivate a state cannabis industry aimed at righting past wrongs by giving cannabis license preference to businesses majority-owned by people from groups that have suffered the most consequences from the drug war.

However, columnist Dan Haar recently wrote in Hearst Newspapers about an analysis that shows some of Connecticut's wealthiest towns, like New Canaan and Simsbury, are set to receive social equity funding from the state's cannabis license program.

He says the problem is the formula the state used to calculate which communities were disproportionately impacted by the drug war.

Speaking on "All Things Considered," Social Equity Council Chair Andréa Comer said she agrees with Haar and went into detail about what makes up the formula.

She also talked about whether she's been surprised by the numerous lawsuits filed in the last month by companies that weren't awarded cannabis licenses.

John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon news program. In his 20th year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports.