Massachusetts marijuana social equity fund has zero funding, report says

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The Massachusetts fund intended to advance social equity in the state’s marijuana industry remains unfunded almost a year after it was created.

That’s according to the Boston Business Journal, which cited preliminary minutes from a June meeting of Massachusetts’ Cannabis Social Equity Advisory Board.

The Social Equity Trust Fund – signed into law in August 2022 – was meant to award grants and loans to cannabis entrepreneurs, focusing on those harmed by prohibition, using 15% of state cannabis taxes and fees.

However, according to the Business Journal, no money has actually been transferred into the fund.

The lack of funding involves an issue with transferring state cannabis revenue from the so-called “Marijuana Regulation Fund,” according to the Business Journal.

“The 15% earmarked for the social equity fund can’t be transferred from the Marijuana Regulation Fund until all the money is transferred to something called the Consolidated Net Surplus account,” the news outlet reported.

State financial officials are reportedly working on “an interim solution that would allow funds to be transferred this year.”

That could result in $2 million-$4 million being made available to the social equity fund.

Separately, a group of Massachusetts cannabis businesses are asking state regulators to prioritize existing businesses over newcomers when distributing money from the social equity fund, the Business Journal reported.