Massachusetts marijuana social equity bill passes state Senate

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A marijuana social equity bill in Massachusetts passed the state Senate.

According to the Associated Press, the legislation would create a fund designed to increase social equity in the state’s marijuana industry by helping solve a key hurdle for equity applicants – lack of access to capital.

The bill now heads to the Massachusetts House.

If the measure is approved there, Massachusetts would join a few other states, including New York, in implementing such a program, the AP reported.

The Massachusetts legislation would create a social equity fund to help applicants get access to capital via grants and loans, including some that  have no interest or are forgivable.

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The fund would receive 10% of yearly revenue collected from the state’s marijuana excise tax, which is an estimated $18 million for the 2023 fiscal year.

Supporters of the bill say opening an average marijuana retail store can require more than $1 million, with processing facilities costing as much as $3 million-$5 million.