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Dayton Cannabis Businesses Host Free Expungement Clinic

DeLena Sunshine Vaughan checks a man in at a computer on a white table inside the Mt. Enon Baptist Church on Saturday. She was volunteering for a free cannabis expungement clinic, hosted by a group of local marijuana businesses.
Mawa Iqbal
DeLena Sunshine Vaughan checks a man in at a cannabis expungement clinic held inside the Mt. Enon Baptist Church on Saturday. The clinic was free and aimed at helping people clear their records of minor cannabis charges.

It was the first expungement clinic since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the community rooms and hallways inside Mt. Enon Baptist Church were packed. A group of local marijuana businesses hosted a free marijuana expungement clinic this past Saturday.

Organizer Tasha Rountree said they set up enough chairs and tables, and prepared enough paperwork, for 40 people. They had over 170 show up.

“We had to tell 80 people we can’t service you today because we’re done for the day,” Roundtree said. “So, we’re going to have another expungement clinic.”

The clinic was aimed at helping people remove marijuana convictions from their records and seal their court files. An attorney from the National Expungement Database Center was there to help with the forms.

There were also tables set up for local marijuana businesses, such as Noohra labs and Green Tree Alternative Solutions. They offered information on how people could get involved in the marijuana businesses once their records are cleared.

Rountree said clearing these minor convictions is crucial for people to break out of a cycle of court fees and charges.

“The part of the issue is just people being overwhelmed,” Rountree said. “Part of the issue is poverty. And so by just stopping the cycle and cleaning up some of the mistakes, and making sure that we all had assistance to be balanced, this is what we wanted to create.”

The clinic was a collaboration between the Wesley Community Center and Community Action Partnership. They host free utility assistance programs and drivers license reinstatement classes.

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.