As Missouri rolls out legal weed, regulators create a new role: chief marijuana equity officer | KCUR 89.3Posted by On

The constitutional amendment legalizing recreational marijuana in Missouri won voter approval in November but created a schism among social-justice activists over the question of racial and economic equity.

Some believe the new law will empower minority marijuana business owners, while others worry it will cement an already distrusted, inequitable business licensing system in place.

Much rides on who is selected for chief equity officer by the Department of Health and Human Services, the state agency tasked with overseeing the marijuana program.

By law, the state must have a chief equity officer for its marijuana program in place by Feb. 6 — a position meant to ensure the social and economic equity requirements of Missouri’s new marijuana law are met.

A DHSS spokeswoman said the department will be announcing the chief equity officer soon.

The department posted the position on the state’s job listing website, MO Careers, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 9, according to Lisa Cox, DHSS’ spokeswoman.

“Our positions post for 10 days externally and internally,” Cox said. “Our jobs are usually picked up and advertised in LinkedIn and Indeed as well. We are working through our process and an announcement will be coming soon.”

According to the job posting, the chief equity officer is described as a leadership position within Missouri’s Division of Cannabis Regulation.

The officer will report directly to the division director, and “will…

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