CommonWealth Magazine | Baker signs bill bringing equity to cannabis industry
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER on Thursday signed a bill aimed at giving minority cannabis entrepreneurs easier access into the industry, and also paving the way for municipalities to allow marijuana cafes. The bill better regulates host community agreements, creates a state-run loan fund for minority entrepreneurs, lowers taxes for marijuana businesses, and makes it easier to expunge records for old marijuana offenses.
Speaking to reporters moments after the bill was signed, Cannabis Control Commissioner Ava Callender Concepcion said she was “shaking with relief and happiness.”
“This is the most comprehensive piece of legislation on cannabis since the establishment of the Cannabis Control Commission,” Concepcion said.
Baker was an early opponent of cannabis legalization and has pushed unsuccessfully for stronger laws prohibiting drugged driving, but he has said he is committed to implementing the law. He wrote in his signing letter that he supports many of the provisions to improve regulation of the cannabis industry and “to expand opportunities for social equity businesses.”
However, state regulators warn it will take time for the provisions to be implemented. The new law gives the Cannabis Control Commission until November 9, 2023, to craft and revise the regulations needed to come into compliance with the law.
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