Equity Programs / Social Equity Program
Social Equity Program
The Social Equity Program (SEP) is a free, statewide technical assistance and training program that creates sustainable pathways into the cannabis industry for individuals most impacted by the War on Drugs, including disproportionate arrest and incarceration as the result of marijuana prohibition.
As the Commission continues to implement regulatory changes that were promulgated in October 2023, information contained on these webpages may require updates and/or verification by applicants and licensees in order to maintain compliance. Thank you for your understanding.
The SEP provides participants with education, skill-based training, and tools for success in the industry across four areas: entrepreneurship, managerial-level workforce development, entry-level workforce development, and ancillary support for businesses that contract with the industry but do not hold a license.
The SEP is not a license type. By completing this program, participants will acquire tools and training to help apply for a license through the Cannabis Control Commission if they are interested in owning a Marijuana Establishment or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center. However, participants in the Entrepreneurship track are not guaranteed licensure from the Commission. Furthermore, alternative SEP pathways to becoming a manager or worker, or providing contract services to the industry, do not require a license application to the Commission.
The application to join the fourth cohort of the SEP is open. Watch this video to learn more.
SEP benefits include:
- Free technical assistance and training through vendors certified by the Commission; and
- Expedited license application review for individuals who maintain 10% ownership in the business for which they are seeking licensure.
For those who maintain greater than 50% ownership in the business for which they are seeking licensure, the following fee waivers and exclusive license types are also available:
- Waived application fees (this waiver does not include the costs associated with background checks);
- Waived seed-to-sale Metrc monthly program fees (this waiver does not include other costs associated with the seed-to-sale tracking system, specifically the fees for plant and package tags);
- Exclusive access to Social Consumption and Delivery License types for up to a minimum of three years, as well as a pre-certification application that offers applicants a preliminary application process that certifies their propensity to run a business of one of these two license types; and
- Note: Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants (EEAs) also are included in Social Consumption and Delivery Exclusivity; Microbusinesses and Craft Marijuana Cooperatives also are included in Social Consumption Exclusivity.
- A 50% reduction of annual license fees, regardless of license type.
Still Have Questions?
Read our Frequently Asked Questions about the Social Equity Program to learn more.
If you are interested in providing benefits or services to SEP Participants, EEAs, or other groups for whom the Commission is charged with ensuring meaningful participation, please complete the agency’s Equity Involvement form.
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