State House News Service | With new advocacy strategy, Cannabis Control Commission urging lawmakers to create equity fund
For essentially the first time in the agency’s four-year history, the five regulators of the Cannabis Control Commission are speaking with one voice in hopes of convincing the Legislature to act on issues that have been batted around but never given full consideration on Beacon Hill.
After adopting a new executive branch and legislative outreach strategy in August, commissioners last month began putting the strategy to use as they advocate for the creation of a state-run fund to help people disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs establish themselves in the legal cannabis industry.
“The commission supports the adoption of a state-administered fund that includes both public and private funds for economic empowerment and social equity program participant applicants and licensees to receive low- or zero-interest loans or grants for the purpose of obtaining licensure and operating their establishment,” the policy statement unanimously adopted by the CCC reads.
Massachusetts was the first state in the country to mandate that equity and inclusion be part of its legal cannabis framework and was the first to launch programs specifically designed to assist entrepreneurs and businesses from communities disproportionately harmed by the decades of marijuana prohibition.
“It’s time for the Legislature to address the reality of equity in legal cannabis by creating a social equity fund,” Commissioner Ava Callender Concepcion said. “Otherwise, the promises of equity and inclusion ingrained in our state’s cannabis law will never be realized.”
Subscribe for updates from the Cannabis Control Commission.