Thanks to your advocacy, Massachusetts legislators passed a historic cannabis equity law last year that created our new Cannabis Social Equity Fund to give grants and loans to equity applicants and licensees.
Unfortunately, the Executive Office of Economic Development is still unable to disperse funds to the community more than one year after its creation (and more than seven years since voters approved Question 4).
Gov. Maura Healey filed a supplemental budget to close out the FY23 fiscal year in September that included language that would finally enable to equity fund to receive a percent of cannabis tax revenue and start issuing grants and loans.
The House and Senate both passed versions of Gov. Healey’s supplemental budget with identical language to fix the Cannabis Social Equity Fund in November but were unable to reach a final compromise before the last day of their formal sessions. Now, any single legislator could object and further delay the comprehensive $2 billion spending bill before the end of the year — leaving cannabis equity businesses with yet another delay and more uncertainty.
Please email your legislators today and let them know: No more cannabis equity fund delays!
A Conference Committee is negotiating the differences between the chambers’ bills and could reach a compromise today, or in weeks. Once legislators reach a compromise, there’s no guarantee it will pass without objection from those opposed to other parts of the bill.
Entrepreneurs from communities harmed by the war on drugs can’t afford to wait any longer. Let your legislators know that further delays aren’t acceptable and urge them to pass the Cannabis Social Equity Fund fix ASAP.
- Look up your state Representative and state Senator at malegislature.gov
- Click on their names to open their profiles and copy and paste their email addresses into a new message
- Copy and paste the sample message below into the message
- Personalize the message by sharing why this is important to you and your community and then hit send
- Be sure to send messages to legisalors who represent where you live and where you work (or are pursuing licenses) or go to school if different
- Use the phone numbers listed in their profiles to follow up with a call
- Let us know if you get a reply by forwarding it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thank any legislators or staff who reply
Sample Email to Legislators
[NOTE: Please be sure to fill in blank lines and personalize with your own story.]
RE: Please pass Cannabis Social Equity Fund fix ASAP
Dear Rep. ______ and Sen. ______,
My name is ________ and I [live / work] at ____________. I’d like to thank you and your colleagues for all of the work that you have done to support a more equitable cannabis industry since voters passed Question 4.
I am writing because despite all of your efforts, entrepreneurs from communities harmed by the war on drugs continue to fall behind as we continue to wait for the Executive Office of Economic Development to be able to issue grants and loans from the Cannabis Social Equity Fund.
I am very concerned that the technical fix that would have moved the fund forward and enabled EOED to begin the grant application process before the end of the year is in jeopardy as the supplemental budget bill that contained the fix wasn’t passed during formal sessions.
While I hope you and your colleagues can reach a quick resolution to passing the larger supplemental budget bill, I am writing to urge you to take up the Cannabis Social Equity Fund fix as a standalone bill if speedy passage of a compromise supplemental budget isn’t forthcoming soon.
The Cannabis Social Equity Fund language is identical in both the House and Senate bills and would help deliver on a historic program you and your colleagues established more than a year ago, so I hope that you will be able to pass this small but critical policy as a standalone bill if necessary.
Please let me know if you will urge leadership and your colleagues to move the Cannabis Social Equity Fund fix as soon as possible, and as a standalone bill if necessary.