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- Cannabis Confidential: Lawmakers pass landmark legislation enhancing equity in the industry | Worcester Magazine“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
- New cannabis equity law sparks hope for would-be business owners | GBH News“Without banking, there’s no way for a small business like ours to get their doors open without going to investors,” said Armani White, a Roxbury activist and marijuana business owner looking to break ground on a Hyde Park retail establishment soon. “This will allow us to not rely on that as much and allows us to be in a better financial position.”
- MA Gov. Baker Signs Marijuana Compromise Bill, Strikes One Controversial Section | BenzingaShanel Lindsay, a marijuana advocate who took part in the 2016 initiative petitions said that the governor and lawmakers “have made history with this vital — and overdue — grant and loan fund.
- Sweeping cannabis industry reforms signed into law by Baker | State House News Service (courtesy of 7News)“This bill is an important step forward in undoing the harms of prohibition and over-policing and will provide an important path for families of color to create jobs in their community and generate generational wealth.”
- Massachusetts Lawmakers Pass Compromise Bill on Cannabis Industry Reform | High Times“This bill is an important step forward in undoing the harms of prohibition and over-policing and will provide an important path for families of color to create jobs in their community and generate generational wealth.”
- Some advice for crafting final cannabis reform bill | CommonWealth MagazineAFTER YEARS OF ADVOCACY by community members, entrepreneurs, Cannabis Control Commissioners, and lawmakers, the Legislature is finally on the verge of passing comprehensive cannabis reform legislation that will help deliver on Question 4’s promise to support equitable opportunity in this new market. Both chambers’ bills take major steps toward improving equitable market participation through access to capital, incentives for equity in local licensing, and reforming our broken host community agreement system. Now, the devil is in the details.
- With cannabis revenue set to be assigned to communities of color, ‘how much?’ is key | Dorchester ReporterThe House increased its proposed cannabis equity funding from 15 percent to 20 percent, thanks to Rep. Tyler’s advocacy and the support of leadership. Unfortunately, the Senate bill only allocated 10 percent. Now is the time to let your state representatives and senators know that you hope they will encourage the Conference Committee to fully fund equity with 20 percent of cannabis revenue in the final bill.
- Massachusetts House Approves Bill To Amend Cannabis Laws | High TimesUnder the state’s current social equity program, only 23 of the state’s 253 licensed cannabis businesses are owned by entrepreneurs qualified for the economic empowerment and social equity programs administered by the Cannabis Control Commission. Shanel Lindsay, the co-founder of the advocacy group Equitable Opportunities Now, praised lawmakers in the House for the change and urged senators to retain the higher percentage in a compromise version of the bill.
- Weed Entrepreneur Kizzy Kee Has High Hopes | Harvard CrimsonThis wasn’t always Kee’s plan. She says that she was selling weed on the black market until Boston attorney and activist Shanel Lindsay, who serves on the Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board, approached her and encouraged her to go legal. Eventually, she enrolled in the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Social Equity Program, where she attended workshops, classes, and trainings on cannabis entrepreneurship in Massachusetts.
- Legalization 2.0: Massachusetts Senate approves overhaul of marijuana laws | The Boston Globe“We are excited and thankful to the Senate for pushing this bill forward, but disappointed by the low allocation to the equity fund,” said Shanel Lindsay
- Inside one woman’s effort to normalize marijuana in homes and get equity ‘baked into the laws’ | NBC NewsShe co-founded a nonprofit called Equitable Opportunities Now to push equitable applications of existing laws and new ones. This year, the nonprofit and local activists organized a boycott and social media campaign against members of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association — a trade group representing brick-and-mortar companies — to defend a regulation aimed at bringing historically underrepresented minorities into the industry.
- This cannabis CEO invented an ‘Easy Bake’ device for homemade edibles | TimeOut“There’s no other industry that is so intrinsically connected to the criminalization of Black and Brown people,” Lindsay says. “… If there’s not equity baked into cannabis, what hope is there left for any kind of justice when it comes to the unfair treatment of people of color in America?”
- Shanel Lindsay: Advocate for change in the cannabis industry | The Spokesman-ReviewIn 2014, when medical marijuana was legalized in Massachusetts, Lindsay started her own law practice. In 2015 she started Ardent, and Equitable Opportunities Now, or EON, a non-profit that fights to preserve equity provisions in cannabis laws to create equal opportunities for businesses and those seeking cannabis licenses.
- Equity advocates tired of waiting on marijuana delivery framework | State House News Service“Despite the fact that we worked tirelessly for over five years, minority ownership is almost non-existent. So yes, we should be angry and offended when, as we’re starting to make small steps towards equity in these delivery licenses, that like clockwork the same corporate interests focused only on preserving their unearned monopoly come in to push back on equity and to crush us.”
- Make No Mistake: Cannabis Equity Can’t Wait | ForbesAdvocates “shouldn’t be afraid to push for exclusivity” for equity applicants in markets’ first few years, given that resources and training only help if you’ve got a seat at the table, and enough time to use it.
- State is ‘blazing new trails’ in marijuana equity, says pot company owner | The Boston Globe“Even our roadblocks are paving the way for other people to make better equity programs,” she said. “I don’t see anything that we do here as a failure, because we are blazing new trails and important work isn’t easy work. But we need to hurry.”
- Cannabis Control Commission scoping out sites for HQ | Worcester Telegram & GazetteAdvisory Board member Shanel Lindsay, from Equity Opportunities Now and operations manager for Ardent, said a lot of people in Massachusetts are excited about recreational marijuana dispensaries opening including patients, consumers and those looking to get into the industry.
- Mass. Votes To Legalize Recreational Marijuana | WBURSupporters argued that making marijuana legal was long overdue. And Shanel Lindsay, who helped draft the ballot question, says she will no longer have to worry that police might use marijuana as a reason to stop her on the street.