We have been fortunate in Massachusetts to have a strong cannabis news media landscape — from mainstream publications to alt weeklies to blogs — but few, if any, have been covering grass in Mass. as long as Chris Faraone.
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.
“The law passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Maura Healey today 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.
“We appreciate all the work that Gov. Healey’s Administration has done in preparation for the launch of the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund and hope they will work quickly to roll out a simple, transparent, user-friendly application process as soon as possible.”
“Language in this bill will unlock millions of dollars to be reinvested back into communities that have been torn apart by over-policing and the war on drugs — and it couldn’t come a minute too soon. The loans and grants this program will provide can help save businesses and jobs before the holidays, but only if all legislators put the needs of the Commonwealth’s residents first by quickly passing this bill in an informal session.”
The group Equitable Opportunities Now, which “educates and empowers people of color to become active participants in the Massachusetts legal cannabis market,” is on top of the situation, and has sent two letters to Beacon Hill lawmakers this month outlining the situation as well as the stakes.
Equitable Opportunities Now, a nonprofit that has fought for equitable cannabis policies since the passage of Question 4 — including Chapter 180 of the Acts of 2022, which created the new fund last year — is asking legislators to make an immediate one-time $50 million investment in the fund before the end of the year in addition to passing Gov. Healey’s proposed long-term fix.
Members of Equitable Opportunities Now, an organization that supports people of color becoming active in the cannabis industry, praised the commission for its focus in reviewing and passing the regulations despite facing massive challenges…
Even with all of the rigmarole surrounding regulators at the moment, some advocates and watchdogs went out of their way to praise the body this past week. The group Equitable Opportunities Now, which “educates and empowers people of color to become active participants in the Massachusetts legal cannabis market,” said the new “HCA and municipal equity rules will create new opportunities for communities harmed by the war on drugs.”
The investments and policy decisions we make now will have a lasting impact on whether we create a truly equitable industry.
Are we equitably reinvesting cannabis revenue in communities harmed by the war on drugs?