Yes We Cannabis RI, the Rhode Island coalition, aims to surpass all existing models. The group is demanding every justice-oriented policy in the New York law, with the addition of prioritizing cannabis licenses for community-based, worker-owned cooperatives, while ensuring cannabis workers’ ability to collectively organize.
Current proposals on the table from the Rhode Island Senate and Gov. Dan McKee include close to no equity provisions. A more promising bill has been proposed in the Rhode Island House, but without specifically reserving ample licenses for worker-owned cooperatives, this legalization bill does not go far enough either. The coalition’s insistence that half the licenses, and thus the market, go to social equity licenses — with half of those social equity licenses reserved for worker cooperatives — is a novel intervention with the real potential to keep “Big Weed” at bay.