The U.S. cannabis industry is projected to hit $100 billion in worth by the year 2030! Unfortunately, many people remain affected by the War on Drugs. Legal cannabis states have the unique opportunity to shape a regulatory framework that is inclusive and equitable to these groups of people.
Continue reading for a breakdown regarding two of the largest social equity programs in Massachusetts.
Cannabis & Social Equity in Massachusetts: What to Know
First things first. Social equity focuses on the justice and fairness of all social policies. It takes systemic inequalities that occur in all aspects of society and ensures everyone in the community has the chance at the same opportunities and outcomes.
Social equity acknowledges these inequalities and works to eliminate them. More specifically for the cannabis industry, social equity means creating equal opportunities for the communities and groups that may not have the same access.
Through multiple programs, Massachusetts has been an excellent example of these efforts toward a more socially equitable cannabis industry.
Social Equity Programs in Massachusetts
Next, surpassing $3 billion in gross marijuana sales this year, MA has also become prominent for its social equity programs and initiatives. Additionally, it’s one of the only states that has granted cannabis delivery licenses exclusively to minority entrepreneurs.
Via this initiative, Massachusetts regulators hope to provide equal opportunity to delivery companies, as well as for retailers and cultivators. Here are two of the leading social equity programs you’ll find supporting the cannabis industry in Massachusetts:
The Boston Cannabis Equity Program
The Boston Cannabis Equity Program was created by an ordinance which establishes the Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry. This program provides funding and technical help to certified equity applicants/licensees who are part of the marginalized communities affected by the War on Drugs.
Boston’s Equity Fund offers financing to equity applicants for a variety of purposes, including:
- Working capital
- Equipment & technology purchases
- Startup costs & build-out
Additionally, the city’s Technical Assistance Program offers consulting services, including:
- Marketing, branding & website development
- Legal compliance & consulting
- Development of business plans, accounting, & tax preparedness
- Support throughout the application process
Those affected by the War on Drugs or are a part of the BIPOC community are eligible to apply for the Boston Cannabis Social Equity Fund online.
The Cannabis Control Commission
Furthermore, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) was established to effectively construct laws and regulations regarding access to medical and adult-use cannabis in the Commonwealth.
In 2018, the CCC launched its Social Equity Program (SEP) to create equal opportunities for those impacted by the War on Drugs, pot prohibition, and incarceration for nonviolent cannabis crimes.
The program was designed to provide statewide technical assistance and training to members of these communities entering cannabis across three crucial areas of the industry: entrepreneurship, ancillary business support, and workforce development for managerial, entry, and re-entry work levels.
However, it’s important to note that the SEP is not a license-type social equity program. Instead, it’s a training program that provides necessary tools to help these businesses apply and obtain a license through the Cannabis Control Commission.
Rolling Releaf: Supporting Social Equity Through Cannabis Delivery
Finally, although Massachusetts has only been a legal cannabis state since 2018, the Commonwealth has so far been successful in establishing social equity programs and initiatives for the industry.
Rolling Releaf was one of the few companies granted a delivery license in the state. We’re also a cannabis home delivery service that offers a wide variety of cannabis products supporting social equity, justice, and opportunity for all!
Through each purchase using Rolling Releaf’s discrete cannabis delivery service, remember, you’re supporting cannabis social equity in the Greater Boston community!