The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) calls on members of the Massachusetts Legislature to enact pending bills designed to improve the effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s cannabis social equity program.
The state’s Legislature established the program in 2017 to ensure individuals who were incarcerated during the War on Drugs or reside in disproportionately impacted neighborhoods have a fair chance at jobs and business opportunities in the now-legal cannabis industry.
In letters to members of the Senate and House, the NACB threw its support behind bills that have also been endorsed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC_, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts and other stakeholders.
“We believe that equity financing through publicly backed low-interest loans, funding for training and technical assistance and oversight of burdensome local government host contracts are critically necessary for economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs to succeed in building businesses in their communities,” said Mark Gorman, NACB’s executive vice president and chief government affairs officer.
NACB asked the legislature to act on S.2650 (establishing a social equity loan fund), S.1708 (a new training and technical assistance fund) and H.4398/S.2479 (tightening rules and giving the CCC authority to review municipal host contracts).
“In many ways, the success of a state’s cannabis legalization initiative rests on the effectiveness of its social equity program,” Gorman said. “We hope Massachusetts social equity applicants will get the support they need to participate in the economic benefits of legalization.”