As a Holyoke resident, Ramos has received an email with a six-digit code that puts him among those license applicants who will be given priority consideration — Economic Empowerment Priority — by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.
The law that legalized recreational marijuana in 2017 requires that “people from communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana law enforcement are included in the new legal marijuana industry,” according to the Summary of Equity Provisions document provided by the Cannabis Control Commission.
“These programs were developed in response to evidence which demonstrates that certain populations, particularly blacks and Latinos, have been disproportionately impacted by high rates of arrest and incarceration for marijuana and other drug crimes as a result of state and federal drug policy. Criminalization has had long-term ill effects, not only on the individuals arrested and incarcerated, but on their families and communities,” the document said.
Ramos said he was confident that the economic priority status for licensing and the attraction of the business plan due to coral restoration will draw investors.
“We think there’s going to be serious investors out there that want to help us grow cannabis and restore the reefs,” he said.