Boston Business Journal | How is Massachusetts leading the U.S. in cannabis, and where is it falling short?
When Massachusetts joined seven other states in legalizing recreational cannabis in 2016, it took its time developing the regulatory structure. Most notably, the Bay State became the first in the nation to mandate equity in its legal cannabis industry.
Through the Social Equity Program, Massachusetts prioritizes pathways into the cannabis industry for people most impacted by the War on Drugs, marijuana prohibition, disproportionate arrest and incarceration.
Those pathways consist of a priority on applications, a guidance on diversity plan and by creating a years-long exclusivity periods on the delivery and upcoming social consumption market for social equity applicants.
Former commissioner Shaleen Title, who was on the Cannabis Control Commission when it first launched back in 2017, is glad the group took its time to develop the industry.
“I’m really proud of the commission for standing our ground that we were going to take our time and do it right and not being pressured into taking shortcuts that would have only benefited large corporations,” Title said. “I think setting an exclusivity period shows that you can make bold transformative change.”
Subscribe for updates from the Cannabis Control Commission.