Only five applicants for 123 social equity marijuana permits in Massachusetts

Despite a well-intentioned social equity program in Massachusetts that aims to provide a pathway into the cannabis industry for victims of the war on drugs, few have jumped at the opportunity.

Only five entrepreneurs have turned in business license applications, though 123 permits are up for grabs, according to

The situation may reflect the high barriers to entry for such demographics, state Rep. Aaron Vega said during an industry panel this week in the town of Holyoke.

“Money is the biggest issue,” Vega said, noting that it can cost $50,000-$60,000 just to apply for a marijuana business license in Massachusetts.

For more details about the social equity situation in the state, click here.

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6 comments on “Only five applicants for 123 social equity marijuana permits in Massachusetts
  1. Brett Von Bergen on

    Gee, what did you think? That people who are have been disproportionately effected by the War on Drugs would have a lot of money sitting around after being in prison or without a job? Make the fees $100 and I bet that all 123 are gone.

    • Jr on

      Yea, and no intellectual means of making the transition from back alley to store front. Giving someone a head start fails in most case. See loto winners for best examples. Giving someone lots of cash makes no sense unless you do all the other. Business functions too. Yea, you will pick a racehorse to make your point but that’s in the 4th deviation. Get real. The only proof you can run a business is show a profit. 50k is cheap than mcDs franchise and those are tourn key. Give them a McDs. At least they would have a chance.

  2. Percy G. on

    Right on Brett!!! Lawmakers know what they’re doing and that’s intentionally putting these opportunities out of the reach of those most disproportionately affected by the so called war on drugs. The reason they don’t make the licensing fees 100$ is because they know there’s a strong possibility these people will suceed, and Lord knows we can’t have an equal playing field, that would just be too fair!

  3. Lance Brofman on

    Better to have a reparations fund, that comes from some portion of the tax on cannabis. Let the market work efficiently, as is the case with alcohol and all other markets. Pay reparations to those who were persecuted by the war on drugs. A special master, as with the 9-11 and Deepwater Horizon oil spill, would allocate money based on how long a person was incarcerated, whether their parents were incarcerated, etc.

  4. Jon Evan Drucker on

    The high application fee is only the start of it. Required security systems, leases, salaries, inventory to start and more can run over $1 million. At least that’s the experience here, in California. It’s The road to hell being paved with good liberal intentions.

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