Speak out ASAP to protect municipal equity!
Cannabis Control Commission Acting Chair Concepcion and Commissioners Camargo, Roy, and Stebbins have been in-person and on camera every day this week finalizing edits to historic new cannabis equity regulations.
Thanks to your advocacy, the CCC introduced draft regulations with the potential to create meaningful change for entrepreneurs harmed by the war on drugs and a key provision could be at risk of being lost.
Under the initial draft regulations, any host community that removes or increases its license cap would have to reserve half of their licenses for equity businesses. During discussions today, Commissioners discussed concerns about municipalities that fail in their equity efforts and have unused equity spots.
If you want to ensure municipalities have meaningful incentives to encourage equitable participation in their community, please contact the Cannabis Control Commission now and make your voice heard.
It could be years until our next opportunity to create strong policies that ensure the Commonwealth’s commitment to cannabis equity is honored in all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns.
The CCC reconvenes today (Friday) at 1 p.m. so please add your own perspectives and experiences to our sample message to Commissioners below and send it ASAP. The email addresses municipal licensing and equitable donations to the new cannabis equity fund.
RE: Please protect or strengthen municipal equity
Dear Acting Chair Concepcion and Commissioners Camargo, Roy, & Stebbins,
Thank you for all of your work to finalize regulations that expand equitable economic opportunity, particularly through municipal permitting and HCAs.
I’m writing to ask that you retain or strengthen your draft regulation 500/501.181(3). Given the troubling lack of representation in the industry and its ever-growing saturation, reserving licensing opportunities for equity businesses is an appropriate and necessary policy and the CCC was correct in pursuing it when it approved its draft regulations.
I hope you’ll consider using its new statutory authority to strengthen your proposed language by including all municipalities accepting new marijuana businesses moving forward. Here is suggested language for your consideration:
“If a Host Community decides to allow additional Marijuana Establishments or MTCs, at least 50 percent of those licenses, but no less than 1 license, beyond those that had received final license status prior to May 1, 2024, shall be reserved for Social Equity Businesses, License Applicants, or pre-verified individuals or entities that have been designated as Social Equity Participants or Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants.”
Additionally, please strengthen your criteria for how licensees can satisfy their Positive Impact Plan, in part, by donating to the Cannabis Social Equity Fund based on your existing Leadership Ranking criteria.
Suggested language for 500/501.101(1)(a)(11) and 500/501.101(2)(g)(9)(d):
“A plan by the Marijuana Establishment to positively impact Areas of Disproportionate Impact, as defined by the Commission, for the purposes established in M.G.L. c. 94G, § 4(a½)(iv). The Marijuana Establishment may satisfy this requirement, in part, by donating at least one percent of gross revenue to the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund established pursuant to M.G.L. c. 94G, § 14A , provided that the ME meets the criteria set forth in 935 CMR 500.181(5). The plan shall outline the goals, programs, and measurements the Marijuana Establishment will pursue once licensed…”
Suggested language for 500/501.181(5)(b):
“Licensees may satisfy their positive impact plan requirement, in part, by donating at least one percent of gross sales to the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund:
1. A Licensee must have authorization to commence operations to donate to the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund as part of their positive impact plan.
2. A Licensee shall satisfy the remainder of their PIP by meeting at least one additional criteria pursuant to 500/501.040(3)(a) or with a satisfactory plan that shall outline the goals, programs, and measurements the Marijuana Establishment will pursue once licensed to positively impact their community in addition to donating to the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund.
Thank you again for your work to create a more equitable industry and all of your efforts on these regulations. I appreciate your consideration.
Please help ensure we create the strongest equity policies possible by speaking out today!
Thanks for being a part of this,
Co-Founder, Equitable Opportunities Now