Grow, Gift, Repair

Marijuana Licenses for Elected Officials’ Spouses


Under the legislation from Rep. Julie Alexander (R), which was preliminarly approved last week and is scheduled for a final third reading vote in the House on Tuesday, the state’s licensing policy would be amended to carve out an exemption for the “spouse of a person who applies for a state operating license unless the spouse’s position in within the marijuana regulatory agency or would otherwise create a conflict of interest.”

At the same time, a provision blocking participation by people with prior misdemeanor or felony drug convictions remains intact, and advocates have expressed frustration that legislators seem to be prioritizing a licensing reform that would benefit their own families while neglecting to push for a change to the criminal records policy, which disproportionately impacts communities of color that have been targeted in the war on drugs.

 Rather than approve legislation to clear their own spouses to benefit from the market, advocates argue lawmakers should be prioritizing the removal of the drug conviction language, which doesn’t serve the interests of promoting an equitable industry, as it largely impacts those who have been criminalized under prohibition.