Delivery Licenses Could Be A Step Up for Social Equity in Vermont
Let’s face it: the barriers to creating a successful business in a highly-regulated environment like the coming legal sales of THC products in Vermont are high for anyone - more so for African-American, Latino and Indigenous people due to historic social and economic repression. Many applicants don’t have access to capital or don’t have experience in the modern financial system. They have been systematically excluded from the very system in which they are now expected to compete.
In short: welcome to the deep end.
Vermont’s goal to advance social equity applicants in the soon-to-be gold rush of legal cannabis sales is noble. The solutions of waived licenses and mentoring, grants and loans, and various state-supported plans are all welcome. They focus on creating stores, cultivators and manufacturers but these are all expensive propositions.
So there are life rings…if you can reach one. Chances are you’ll need several.
Delivery Licenses Could Be An Inexpensive Starting Point
There are a lot of smart, motivated people who have suffered during the drug wars, and some who have suffered from generations of repression. Creating “Delivery Licenses” and making them available exclusively to social equity applicants would afford them a chance to enter the business without a lot of money or experience. It is a way to organically get people started and costs Vermont little more than licensing fees.
The idea is to grant licenses exclusively to social equity applicants for 10 years. This creates an avenue for an entrepreneur to start small, perhaps with a small stock of products bought wholesale. Or, they make an agreement with a store to deliver their products in exchange for a fee. This supports budding delivery entrepreneurs and e-commerce for local retail stores. Maybe they specialize in transporting large quantities of plants or products. There is a low cost to enter the brave new world of legal cannabis sales.
It is a foot in the door, where people can make connections and learn about the cannabis business. A reliable vehicle, insurance and a clean driving record, coupled with a little capital, and they are on their way. Perhaps they will gain enough experience, credibility and contacts to open their own store after three years. They may become so busy they hire others, creating more Vermont jobs.
Customers and businesses will also benefit by having reliable delivery options of a controlled substance to their door. The state gains by having regulated products delivered by responsible, licensed drivers. Vermont also benefits from creating social equity that is accessible to those who need it most.
An amendment to the proposed legislation creating a THC marketplace, as written by Vermont NORML, would make it easier for more socially disadvantaged people to access the cannabis industry. It would also allow Vermonters to order their products online and have them safely and securely delivered right to their door. It would cost the state very little.
We at Zenbarn Farms believe this is good for everyone.