Interesting cannabis news out of Virginia today! After the monumental move to legalize possession of small amounts of cannabis for Virginia adults 21 years of age and older by Governor Northam, he has appointed a Hampton Roads native named Vickie Williams-Cullins to the cannabis reinvestment board amongst twenty other people.
In response to the new law and to navigate the future of cannabis in Virginia, three separate boards have been made to help "manage the industry": the Cannabis Control Authority, Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Board and the Cannabis Public Health Advisory.
Ms. Williams-Cullins has a passion for cannabis legalization, hoping to bring what she's learned through her personal struggles and triumphs to the floor when making changes for Virignia and cannabis. Ms. Williams-Cullins, who operates OPN-Door Communications LLC and also works alongside the Portsmouth court and has been working toward this incredible goal "for over a decade" says:
“I grew up in a marginalized community, LaSalle Avenue and Shell Road. We have a lot of challenges. I’ve got classmates, college classmates, family members that were involved, that are carrying these felonies. To be in a position to help shape the legislation and formulate this space, it’s an honor. All of us have been doing the grunt work, from the mud. We’re out here helping people to get their rights restored. Helping people as they navigate this reentry space."
In order to help the communities so dear to Williams-Cullins heart, 30% of the profit earned from Virginia's new cannabis industry will go to help support them.
“Specifically, our Black and brown communities who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. I’m hopeful money that is generated from the legal sale of cannabis will be poured into communities for cities that I love like Portsmouth, Hampton and Norfolk, Virginia,” says Williams-Cullins.
Personally, I find it really heartwarming someone who has been in the position of these struggling communities is looking to fight for them, to educate Virginia on cannabis and to help destroy the stigma surrounding it.
Good luck, Ms. Williams-Cullins!
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