MassLive | In the next phase of cannabis equity in Mass., there are still many wrongs to right (Op-ed)
By Commissioner Nurys Camargo
Massachusetts’ legal cannabis industry has a real chance to create generational wealth and economic pathways for people who have faced the harshest consequences of the failed War on Drugs, as well as equitable opportunities for individuals trying to enter the industry but barely keeping their heads above water.
There have been many missed opportunities in building the regulated cannabis marketplace, and there are still so many wrongs to rewrite. Every day I hear about a new bad deal, another predatory lender, more municipal roadblocks, the ups and downs of politics, and – most critically – the extra dollars needed to finally reach the “commence operations” stage. Now, a new board will be formed, and we need people from harmed communities with experience in the cannabis industry, finance, business development and entrepreneurship to step up, volunteer and serve.
This August, Gov. Charlie Baker signed practical, yet impactful, reforms to the state’s legal cannabis industry into law. Among them the creation of the Massachusetts Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund which will offer grants and low- or no-interest loans to equity program participants. The fund will consist of funds from private sources, gifts, grants, donations, and 15% of revenue from the Marijuana Regulation Fund on an annual basis and be administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) in consultation with the brand-new Cannabis Social Equity Advisory Board.
Read the rest of Commissioner Camargo’s op-ed here: https://www.masslive.com/opinion/2022/10/in-the-next-phase-of-cannabis-equity-in-mass-there-are-still-many-wrongs-to-right.html
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