Grow, Gift, Repair

CCC Recap Part 2

🤔Concerned that the state’s fledgling marijuana industry is dominated by white men, Massachusetts regulators are considering an array of new tactics to fulfill their social justice mandate, including offering interest-free loans to cannabis businesses owned by people who were hurt by the war on drugs.

🍁🏤As the first state in the country to include in its marijuana legalization law a requirement to include historically disenfranchised groups, Massachusetts was supposed to be a model for others to follow. But a year and a half after regulators started work, 112 businesses have received licenses, but only nine are woman-owned, and two are minority-owned. 

👩🏻‍💼Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan said she was not surprised larger players dominate the industry, because smaller firms have trouble getting capital. Banks are unwilling to lend to marijuana companies in light of federal prohibition.

👷🏼‍♂️She said the state should focus on helping more women and minorities find work in the industry, rather than solely encouraging them to own businesses.

🗣“We need to talk about employment more than we have been, and pathways to ownership,” she said.

💼🏙“The whole purpose is to create wealth” in black and Hispanic communities, said Kamani Jefferson, president of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council. “You don’t really create wealth being an employee. You do it through ownership.”