Thousands See Cannabis Charges Reduced Thanks to Prop 64
May 23, 2017
Some industry experts estimate that the adult use cannabis industry will generate more than 20,000 new businesses with over 6 billion in revenue by 2020, and that’s just in California. Considering there are currently expected to be 19 different types of license types, alongside an ancillary market consisting of offerings like packaging, compliance, or managed services, California will create another level of economic growth for the state and the industry. With the vast opportunity the new laws present, it would be a shame for so many cannabis enthusiasts to be precluded from participation due to minor drug offenses related to cannabis, a product that they’re now growing and selling legally. Luckily, they won’t be.
When California passed Proposition 64 last November, they not only legalized cannabis for adult use, but also gave thousands of people the chance at a better life. Through a lesser known provision under Prop 64, individuals with cannabis convictions can petition the court to have the charges reduced or, in some cases, completely wiped clean. This allows people access to a greater pool of potential jobs while addressing a key requirement in the business licensing process.
The Prop 64 provision means that many of the people applying for a cannabis license won’t find their application rejected due to a past, minor, cannabis infraction. That’s not to say that the odds of receiving a license will increase, but they surely won’t be negatively impacted as the reduced convictions should satisfy the background check requirements. Under Proposition 64, the following felonies could be reduced to misdemeanors:
- Possession over 1 ounce of cannabis or 4 grams of concentrate
- Cultivation more than 6 cannabis plants
- Possession of cannabis for sale
- Transportation of cannabis over 28.5 grams
Individuals who were convicted of transporting less than 28.5 grams of cannabis can petition to have their charges reduced from a felony to an infraction. Anyone who was charged with growing less than six plants or possession under 1 ounce can have the offense completely expunged from their record.
So far, over 2500 Californians have initiated the process to reduce their charges, and thousands more are likely to do the same as word of the program spreads. The question is, will other states follow suit and restore the lives of so many wrongly harmed?
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