The program is the first statewide in the nation, but other municipalities have tried such programs before. The city of Oakland launched a program in which half of all legal pot permits would be reserved for low-income Oakland residents with drug convictions who lived in neighborhoods with historically high rates of drug-related arrests. Nearly immediately, the startup Hood Incubator, which caters to cannabis entrepreneurs of color, chose to pilot its first location in Oakland. The incubator now trains entrepreneurs or enters them into an apprenticeship program, pairing them with existing companies, according to Fast Company.
The Massachusetts program is funded with $300,000 in its first year; its budget in future years will be up to the state legislature. Training will begin later this year.