This Thursday at 5:30pm, the Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission is holding a hearing on the impacts of commercial cannabis operations on the city’s housing supply. While everyone loves pot (or at least the 65.2% of Oaklanders who voted for Measure Z love pot), many of the warehouse spaces targeted by urban cannabis farmers are currently inhabited by Oaklanders. These commercial growing operations can be extremely lucrative and could significantly increase displace pressure on vulnerable tenants.. An eviction epidemic triggered by Big Pot’s expansion would be a huge bummer that would harsh anyone’s mellow. East Bay for Everyone is asking our members and supporters to show up to Oakland City Hall this Thursday at 5:30pm to speak out in support of protective and equitable policies.
The legalization of cannabis in California over the last decade, while welcome, has come with significant gaps in equity. Legalization has allowed for highly profitable commercialization and benefits for private investors, while people of color, the working class, and people with criminal records have been largely locked out of the economic boom. While Oakland has a variety of policies in place to address these inequalities, there is not yet any policy addressing commercial grow evictions. It is simply not fair to allow investors in for-profit cannabis production—a group that is predominately wealthy and white—to profit from evictions disproportionately affecting people of color and the working class.