Yesterday, the Legislature passed, and Gov. Maura Healey signed, the closeout FY23 supplemental budget that will unlock millions of dollars in grants and loans to cannabis equity businesses. This is an important step toward creating economic opportunity for communities harmed by the war on drugs, as envisioned by voters when they passed Question 4.
THANK YOU to our amazing group of advocates who talked to legislators and the media in person and were a part of history at the State House yesterday, and to everyone who emailed or called their legislators and spread the word throughout this effort.
We are also grateful to Gov. Maura Healey, Speaker Ron Mariano, Senate President Karen Spilka, Ways & Means Chairs Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and Sen. Michael Rodrigues, Cannabis Policy Chairs Rep. Dan Donahue and Sen. Adam Gomez, and their colleagues for their ongoing commitment to creating a more equitable cannabis industry.
Join us at New Dia Fenway on Tuesday 12/19 at 6 PM to celebrate this and our other shared victories this year at our Celebration of Cannabis Equity Champions. Not only is this a great opportunity to connect with friends and hear from industry and policy leaders, but support from this event helps power our work throughout the year, so please consider donating what you can!
Language in the new law will enable the state Comptroller to transfer funds from the Marijuana Regulation Fund to the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund that was created last year so that the Executive Office of Economic Development (EOED) can begin the application process for grants and loans to cannabis equity businesses.
EOED recently indicated at a public meeting of the Cannabis Social Advisory Board that it could have an application up for the initial round of grants within weeks after receiving a transfer, and anticipates holding a webinar for interested applicants as part of the process. At the time, EOED anticipated having $2-4 million to distribute in an initial round of grants of up to $100,000 to qualifying cannabis social equity businesses that have received at least a provisional license from the CCC.
Grants will be awarded as cost-reimbursement contracts and can be used for common business expenses except for cannabis products or paraphernalia. Recipients of cost-reimbursement contracts do not need to spend money before receiving it, but must document how the grant funds were spent as a reporting requirement of the contract.
We will keep you posted as more information becomes available and hope to see you in Boston on Tuesday 12/19 for our Celebration of Equity Champions!