“Massachusetts made history with a nation-leading economic empowerment law when they legalized cannabis with Question 4, and nearly six years later, Legislators today made history with this vital — and overdue — grant and loan fund,” said Equitable Opportunities Now Co-Founder and Question 4 Co-Author Shanel Lindsay
Calling the bill “important” and repeatedly expressing his desire to have a bill on his desk before the end of session, the Governor referred to cannabis equity and local licensing reform as among the “key priorities” in the bill.
“..although Massachusetts led the nation by being the first state to require cannabis regulators like us to create economic empowerment pathways for communities most harmed by the war on drugs, we lag behind other states that have created, among other solutions, funds for small businesses to access capital. A final bill to create a fund for Massachusetts with 20% of excess tax revenue will help to level the playing field for our residents.”
“It is deeply troubling that none of the legislators of color in either chamber who championed these issues will be at the table to decide how accessible this new industry will be to local entrepreneurs of color and from communities most harmed by the war on drugs,” said Equitable Opportunities Now Co-Founder and Question 4 Co-Author Shanel Lindsay. “Now, the spotlight is on Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Ron Mariano and conferees to deliver a bill that reflects their stated commitment to equity.”