The Minority Cannabis Business Association Stands in Support of Bernie Sanders Comments on Marijuana Justice



Thursday, February 27, 2020


Jason Ortiz, President – (860) 639-8101

Kaliko Castille, Vice-President – (503) 753-5836


The Minority Cannabis Business Association Stands in Support of Bernie Sanders Comments on Marijuana Justice

Senator Sanders touches on core parts of MCBAʻs mission with comments during CBS Presidential debate


WASHINGTON –  Advocates for equity in the cannabis industry got a big boost on Tuesday night when Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders stood on stage during a CBS Presidential debate and talked about expunging the records of those charged with possession of marijuana and the need to help the communities most impacted by the war on drugs participate in the legal marketplace. 

“The Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) would like to affirm our support and appreciation for the comments Senator Bernie Sanders made during the debate in South Carolina. Taking the public position of ensuring communities most impacted by the war on drugs will have the ability to enter the legal cannabis industry shows that he is serious about reversing the damage done by the war on our communities,” said Kaliko Castille vice-president of MCBA. 

In the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination, all but two candidates, Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden, support legalizing cannabis at the federal level.

“This is an issue that touches upon individual patient’s rights, state’s rights, economic empowerment, safe banking and criminal justice reform. Any presidential candidate not conceding to the 91% of this country in support of cannabis justice, is simply out of touch with the will of the American people,” said Margeaux Bruner, MCBA Board member and co-chair of their Economic Empowerment Committee.

During the debate, Senator Sanders specifically said, “We are also going to move to expunge the records of those who have been arrested for marijuana, and we are going to provide help to the African American, Latino and Native American communities to start businesses selling legal marijuana. Rather than let a few corporations control the legalized marijuana market”. (video here)

In addition to his comments during the debate, Sanders has also put forth a comprehensive plan for legalizing cannabis at the federal level. Among his proposals is a $10 billion grant program specifically targeted for companies with 51% ownership from disproportionately impacted areas or individuals.

Jason Ortiz President of MCBA said, “Racism in this country will not be fixed through apologies and expungement alone. We need a radical change in the economic opportunities available to our communities, and Senator Sanders spoke directly to that fundamental understanding that there is no social justice without economic justice. Knowing that Senator Sanders understands the deeper issues gives us hope that a future Sanders administration might finally end the war on our community.”

Aside from Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is the only other Democratic candidate for President to release a plan regarding federal cannabis policy with restorative and economic justice components. 


Founded in late 2015, the Minority Cannabis Business Association

(MCBA) is the first non-profit organization created to serve the specific needs of minority

cannabis entrepreneurs, workers, and patients/ consumers. Our mission is to create equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis

businesses, their patients, and the communities most affected by the war on drugs.