“The national monopolization of cannabis is a big issue to tackle … but it’s easier to prevent it from happening in the first place than it is to fix it after the fact.”
When we checked in with the Parabola Center for Law and Policy last December, the nonprofit think tank had just announced that it tapped 50 partners in an effort to boost independent cannabis businesses, in Massachusetts and beyond.
“There needs to be a unified voice that is free of corporate influence or funding,” Shaleen Title, CEO of the Parabola Center and a longtime advocate who served as a commissioner of the Cannabis Control Commission from 2017 to 2020, told Talking Joints Memo. “The best way to push for a model of federal legalization that protects small cannabis businesses is to listen to the thousands of them who already exist.”
Parabola was launched earlier this year to back stronger social equity policies and greater market access for small businesses within cannabis, and their latest initiative—their Anti-Monopoly Toolkit—follows through on that mission. As the center explains:
If you are concerned that big businesses are taking over the cannabis industry and you want to take action to prevent it from getting worse, this toolkit is for you. The national monopolization of cannabis is a big issue to tackle. But there’s good news: It’s easier to prevent it from happening in the first place than it is to fix it after the fact.
The purpose of this toolkit is to provide an educational resource for anyone with a stake in the outcome of this multibillion-dollar market – legislators, regulators, adult consumers, medical cannabis patients, or any concerned citizen who doesn’t want to see yet more domination and destruction caused by national cannabis corporations and by Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, and Big Pharma.
Here’s their breakdown of the toolkit:
-The first section of this toolkit provides sample legislative language that state policymakers can use to limit the consolidation of corporate power and encourage open, competitive state markets.
-The second section of this toolkit outlines provisions that should be included in any such federal legislation to prevent a national monopoly or oligopoly from forming once national prohibition comes to an end.
-The third and final section of this toolkit outlines actions that individuals can take to help build a better cannabis industry.
As Parabola puts it, their document is “not only for policymakers, but also for anyone who wants to learn more about how to advocate for fair cannabis markets that prioritize people over profits.”
“The power of the people,” they write, “is stronger than the people in power.”