Voters passed Question 4 with the promise of equitable pathways into the cannabis industry and community reinvestment into the communities most harmed by the war on drugs.
Nearly six years later, we’re on the cusp of securing a major victory that will bring significant reinvestment of cannabis revenue into Black- and brown-owned businesses through a Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund. But without significant community input, these entrepreneurs may only see half of their fair share of funding.
An all-white Conference Committee will negotiate key differences between House and Senate cannabis reform bills, including whether the social equity trust fund should receive the full 20% of cannabis revenues envisioned by the law and included in the House, or just the 10% allocated by the Senate.
Please take a moment right now to urge your state legislators to ask the Conference Committee to strengthen the equity provisions of the final omnibus cannabis reform bill! Here’s how to take action:
- Look up your state representative and state senator
- Click on their profiles and find their email address
- Use the template at the bottom of this message
- Let us know if you hear anything back by replying to this message
After years of advocacy, your voice can help ensure that the Massachusetts legislature passes the most pro-equity cannabis reform bill possible.
Thank you for your consideration and allyship,
Sample Email to State Legislators
After you look up your state representative and state senator and click on their profiles to find their email addresses, please use the following sample email to urge them to support cannabis equity.
Please consider personalizing the message by sharing why it’s important to you that Massachusetts invest in cannabis equity.
Dear Sen. / Rep. ____________,
I am a voter in your district and I’m writing today to ask you to urge the conference committee reconciling H.4800/S2823 “An Act relative to equity in the cannabis industry” to fully fund the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund with 20% of excess cannabis revenue, as included in the House bill.
As you likely know, equity was a central tenet of Question 4 and the Legislature’s previous changes to the law. The law calls for community reinvestment as one of five spending priorities and I hope you will help make sure it receives its full allocation.
To further strengthen the bills, I hope you will also encourage the Conference Committee to adopt the following recommendations:
- Empower disproportionately harmed community members to determine how cannabis revenue is reinvested in their community by adopting Senate language that grants Trust’s board authority to promulgate regulations and empowers the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development to approve and implement those regulations
- Ensure municipalities have a consistent standard for promoting equity in local licensing by empowering the CCC & supporting accountability
- Bolster the financial incentive to municipalities that host social equity businesses by increasing the additional 1% of revenue offered to communities that host equity businesses to 3%
- Adopt Senate language empowering the CCC to establish rules and promulgate regulations for host communities.
- Adopt House language that would withhold community impact fees from communities that fail to adopt equity policies
- Improve accountability and fairness in community impact fee dispute resolution by adopting provisions from House and Senate bills
- Adopt Senate language requiring the CCC to “develop a model host community agreement
- Adopt Senate language affirming licensees’ right to pursue a civil action regarding unreasonable community impact fees and House language enabling licensees to petition the CCC to review the community impact costs
- Adopt House language empowering CCC to review past HCAs
- Strengthen host community agreement reform with reasonable limits and deadlines by adopting House language limiting host community agreements to five years and requiring the Cannabis Control Commission to review host community agreements within 45 days
Thank you for considering this request. Please let me know if I can count on you to express your support for these important equity provisions to the Conference Committee.