Theory Wellness, a craft cannabis company, has announced its plans to fund and operate a social equity program designed to support “Economic Empowerment” entrepreneurs in opening cannabis dispensaries. Economic Empowerment status is given by the Cannabis Control Commission to those who have been disproportionately impacted by high rates of arrest and incarceration for cannabis-related crimes as a result of previous state and federal drug policy.
The program leverages Theory’s experience and expertise in the Massachusetts cannabis market to guide a qualified applicant through the legal, political, and financial challenges of launching a dispensary in the Commonwealth. The program offers $250,000 to the applicant in the form of $100,000 in zero interest financing and $150,000 worth of startup cannabis inventory on consignment. Beyond the financial contribution, the Theory team will help their candidate navigate the complexities of the licensing process, zoning regulations, real estate acquisition, and local host community agreements. Furthermore, Theory will provide introductions to skilled, cannabis-friendly professional service firms such as legal, insurance, and banking. The Company aims to support a budding entrepreneur through every step of the process. This is a “no strings attached” support program; Theory is not taking any equity stake in the applicant or requiring the applicant to sign any management or inventory purchasing contracts.
“As an independent, locally owned cannabis business, we know better than most just how hard this is,” commented Brandon Pollock, CEO of Theory. “We are incredibly fortunate to have gotten to where we are; it is now our responsibility to pay it forward and support those who deserve it most. I believe the private sector can and should play a meaningful role in advancing equity in the cannabis industry, and this program is our way to make a positive impact on an aspiring entrepreneur or team.”
Please reference Theory’s website for an overview of the program and the eligibility requirements for applicants. In a few weeks, they’ll begin the application process, which will be led by Pollock and other senior members of the Theory Wellness organization.