Press Release: Initiative 71 Authors Urge DC Council to Include Cottage Industry Licenses

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November 17, 2021

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Initiative 71 Authors Urge DC Council to Include Cottage Industry Licenses

WASHINGTON —  Opening up D.C. farmers markets to adult-use cannabis sales and licensing sales by D.C. craft cultivators and cottage industry entrepreneurs are the focus of a carefully vetted amendment that will be presented by District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) at a public hearing Friday of the D.C. Council.

“Combining criminal justice reforms and economic innovation, the amendment would guarantee D.C. implements a profitable, equitable, affordable and transparent system of adult-use cannabis sales, testing and cultivation,” says to Nikolas Schiller, author of the Cottage Industry Amendment and co-author of Initiative 71.

The amendment establishes a “Cottage Industry License”  for adult residents, and “Farmers Market Endorsement” license that would allow sales by local craft cultivators and entrepreneurs, molding social equity and decriminalization into a new, necessary and innovative revenue stream. The amendment includes enforceable rules and regulations for anyone who is issued either license.

The amendment states, “A cottage industry license shall authorize the licensee to grow and produce medicinal and/or recreational marijuana within their residence for sale and delivery at wholesale directly to manufacturers, testing facilities, retailers, and farmers markets.”

Adding, “A Farmers Market Endorsement is a license issued to Cottage Industry Licensees or Microbusiness Licensees that authorizes the licensee to sell the cannabis at Farmers Markets in the District of Columbia.”

The complete amendment can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jnGDpKkKdGYGqPi7Q0Q-Vr-LIZ2ESSC-MMfgVo7Gyqs/edit?usp=sharing

“The intent and spirit of Initiative-71, which D.C. voters approved seven years ago, was from the start to decriminalize the plant in D.C., end to the persecution of local cannabis users, and establish a system of equitable, safe, affordable and all-inclusive cannabis commerce, from micro-sales to dispensaries,” said Adam Eidinger, the proposer of Initiative 71 and co-founder of cannabis advocacy and educational group DCMJ.

“We have an obligation to implement a system that does not shut out any cannabis entrepreneur, who wants to make an income, will abide by the regulations, and pay sales and taxes on profits. In state after state, legislatures have left out many American entrepreneurs by allowing an exclusive ‘Big Pot’ oligopoly to dominate the local adult-use marketplace.” Eidinger adds,  “We can break the cannabis oligopoly here in DC if we just legalize with the little guy in mind.”

“The D.C. Council has a chance to do what no state that has succeeded in doing so far, creating a pathway to moving the cannabis underground and ‘grey market’ to the economic mainstream,” DC Cannabis Business Association founder Lisa Scott. 

The amendment was crafted after countless hours of deliberation and discussion, including open meetings and a three-part reading of the entire bill hosted by DCMJ. A range of citizens, including moms, dads, veterans, activists, business people and lawyers, all contributed ideas and commentary.

“This amendment represents the will of the D.C. cannabis community. It’s thoughtful with respect to the local diversity, comprehensive, and carefully worded,” said Nikolas Schiller. “The message was clear that many D.C. residents want to be a part of the coming commercial cannabis marketplace, but they fear they will be unfairly excluded from ownership and partnership in a cannabis enterprise. The D.C. Council can break the cycle and become the model of success.”

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