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NAACP’s Vision For Fair Legalization, SC’s High Rise Bar, NY’s Rec. Setbacks

Cesar Gallegos

by Cesar Gallegos

August 18, 2023 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes

The NAACP’s blueprint for a fair cannabis industry, cannabis wellness takes center stage at High Rise Dry Bar in South Carolina, and New York’s legal limbo stalls its recreational market.

Let’s dive into this week’s, canna-news!

NAACP Puts Workers’ Rights at Center of Cannabis Legalization Discussion

The 114th NAACP National Convention saw the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) reaffirm its support for federal cannabis reform. Specifically, the organization emphasized the need to give cannabis industry workers the same rights enjoyed by laborers in other sectors. To achieve this, the NAACP advocated for the following measures.

To start, the association called for cannabis workers to have access to union representation. Union representation not only allows these workers to have increased protection, but, it also gives them access to training and apprenticeships so they can fully benefit from the growing industry.

The NAACP also highlighted the need to center Black interests for workers and entrepreneurs in the expanding cannabis market. The organization’s CEO Derrick Johnson pointed out that despite the industry seeing success over the past few years — it has not translated to equitable opportunities for Black workers.

In order for cannabis workers to get everything they deserve, however, the NAACP acknowledged that federal legalization would need to come first. The organization expressed the need for legalization to include labor peace agreements as part of its statutes. It also called for cannabis workers to be included under established labor acts as part of the push for legalization.

What do you think about the NAACP’s views on the fight for legalization? Let us know in the comments!

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High Rise Dry Bar Brings Cannabis-Mocktails to South Carolina

A non-alcoholic bar specializing in cannabis cocktails is making its way to South Carolina! High Rise Dry Bar located on James Island is a collaboration between High Rise Beverage Company, known for CBD and THC seltzers, and Charleston Hemp Collective.

Scheduled to open on August 10, the bar’s cocktails are crafted using natural ingredients and include the customer’s choice of CBD, Delta-8, or Delta-9. In addition to their signature canna-cocktails, patrons can also opt for classic mocktails or High Rise seltzers. Lastly, there’s also an option to enhance orders with a THC gummy.

Co-owner Chris Long says the bar aims to replicate the social element of traditional bars without the alcohol — which many choose to avoid. The emphasis is on promoting wellness, and the owners intend to educate customers about the health advantages of hemp and cannabis. As such, the bar will also feature a retail section where visitors can shop for hemp-infused products like lotions gummies, tinctures, teas, and more.

Setbacks Mount for New York’s Recreational Cannabis Industry Amid Legal Battle

New York’s recreational cannabis industry is facing yet another hurdle. A state Supreme Court judge ruled to uphold an injunction preventing the issuance of new licenses or approval of retail dispensary plans.

This decision prolongs a suspension implemented earlier this month after a group of service-disabled veterans sued the program. The lawsuit asserted that the Conditional Adult-Use Retail cannabis program, which prioritizes the state’s retail licenses for people and families of New Yorkers with past cannabis convictions, is unconstitutional. The plaintiffs argued that the state’s Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act, which legalized recreational cannabis in 2021, mandates that licenses prioritize disabled veterans and other minority groups.

Ulster County Supreme Court Justice Kevin Bryant determined that the temporary ban will last until the next hearing on this issue in two weeks. This development has disappointed various cannabis industry stakeholders including advocates, cultivators, and prospective entrepreneurs. The Cannabis Association of New York’s interim Executive Director, Hal McCabe, stressed that “This injunction continues to threaten tens of thousands of jobs, thousands of businesses and the entire industry as a whole.”

As the legal industry struggles to get off the ground — the illicit market has taken over. McCabe hit on this point saying, “We also need to seriously consider a full emergency regulations package because the public’s health and the public’s safety is in danger with the thousands of illicit shops”.

What do you think about New York’s continued struggles around its recreational market? Let us know in the comments!

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