MA launching social equity program for cannabis industry workers

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Massachusetts is initiating a statewide social equity program to train minorities and people convicted of drug offenses to start marijuana businesses or work in the industry.

The commission is said to be giving priority in licensing review applications to “economic empowerment” applicants who come from areas and groups that have been overly affected by marijuana arrests,” according to

Massachusetts’ program was called for by the adult-use ballot initiative and has been championed by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, said Morgan Fox, spokesman of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

The goal of the social equity program is to increase opportunities for individuals who have lived in areas with a disproportionate impact from drug arrests. Complete eligibility requirements and other information on the program can be found here.

Qualifying applicants and licensees can receive training and technical assistance in:

  • Management and employee training
  • Business plan creation and operational development
  • Assistance in raising funds
  • Industry best practices, accounting and sales forecasting
  • Tax and legal compliance