Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to mandate full participation in the legal cannabis industry by communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. The Cannabis Control Commission is committed to fulfilling that promise by encouraging and enabling access to the legal marketplace and to positively impacting those communities. The agency’s efforts include the development of regulatory policies and procedures that aim to lower barriers to entry in addition to the Social Equity Program (SEP) and the Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant status.
Understanding Equality vs. Equity
Equality means providing everyone with the same resources; equity means providing targeted resources to individuals based on their specific needs.
While equality focuses on dividing resources equally, equity focuses on dividing resources proportionally to meet recipients’ needs in order to achieve a fair outcome.
Social Equity Program
The Social Equity Program (SEP) is a free, statewide technical assistance and training program that creates sustainable pathways into the cannabis industry for individuals most impacted by the War on Drugs including disproportionate arrest and incarceration as the result of marijuana prohibition.
Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant Status
The Certified Economic Empowerment Priority status enables applicants who were able to demonstrate experience in – or business practices that promote – economic empowerment in disproportionately impacted communities to jump the Commission’s licensing queue when applying for an adult-use Marijuana Establishment license.
Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant (EEA) status was provided during a one-time certification period between April 1, 2018 and April 15, 2018 in accordance with state law. The Commission is no longer accepting applications for licensees to become certified as an EEA.
For More Information
For questions regarding the Commission’s Equity Programs, email Equity@CCCMass.com or call (774) 415-0200.
If you are interested in providing benefits or services to SEP Participants, EEAs, or other groups for whom the Commission is charged with ensuring meaningful participation, please complete the agency’s Equity Involvement form.
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