Massachusetts-based marijuana company Theory Wellness is taking applications from prospective social equity or economic empowerment candidates in the state and will offer financial support to the winners.
A multistate operator with outlets in Maine, New Jersey, New York and Vermont as well, Theory already has awarded $250,000 to Brockton, Massachusetts, retailer Legal Greens in the form of $100,000 in zero-interest financing and $150,000 worth of startup cannabis inventory on consignment, according to a news release.
Vanessa Jean-Baptiste was the first Black woman to own a marijuana store in Massachusetts when she opened Legal Greens in 2021.
Along with the sponsorship, Theory Wellness supported Legal Greens in areas such as banking, insurance, marketing and licensing, according to the release.
“Cannabis financing is harder today than it’s ever been given the current market landscape and economic headwinds,” Brandon Pollock, CEO and co-founder of Theory Wellness, said in a statement.
He also said the sponsorship is “how the private sector can further support a diverse cannabis market.”
Massachusetts cannabis regulators define social equity or economic empowerment companies as those disproportionately impacted by high rates of arrest and incarceration for marijuana-related crimes at the state and federal levels.
According to the release, Theory Wellness doesn’t take any equity stake in the applicant’s company or require the applicant to sign management or inventory-purchasing contracts.
A formal application will be dispersed in early 2023. More information is available here.