Under the leadership of Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title, Massachusetts has revealed the “nation’s first statewide “social equity” program to help minorities and people convicted of drug offenses work in the legal marijuana industry.”
Massachusetts state law requires the Cannabis Control Commission to promote full participation in the industry by people disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. The commission is already giving priority in review of licensing applications to “economic empowerment” applicants who come from areas and groups that have been overly affected by marijuana arrests. […]
There are four tracks in the program: one for owners/entrepreneurs; one for management and executive level careers; one for entry level jobs or people looking to re-enter society after incarceration; and one for people with existing skills that can be transferred to the cannabis business. The final track has separate categories for professional skills like law or accounting and trade skills, like drivers, plumbers or electricians. It is also designed to help inventors of cannabis accessories.
Each track will offer training on industry-specific challenges and skills.
This is impressive work. It’s so much harder to do it this way, but represents a desire to not just legalize, but partially make up for the decades of damage from marijuana prohibition.