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Cannabis Empowerment Series Announced

The Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion will host a weeklong series of business workshops focused on entering the cannabis industry.

Mayor Michelle Wu announced today that the City of Boston, in collaboration with Rooted In, will offer a weeklong series of free educational sessions on the cannabis industry and entrepreneurship on Monday, June 12th to Sunday, June 18th at various locations across the City. The Cannabis Empowerment Series is designed for those who intend to participate in the cannabis industry, particularly in the City of Boston, and aims to encourage, empower, and enable them in their pursuit to participate. The overall objective of these June sessions is to provide information and resources to support equitable growth and development of the cannabis industry in Boston.

In November of 2019, the City of Boston passed an “Ordinance Establishing Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry,” which requires the development of procedures and policies that encourage participation in the regulated cannabis industry by communities that have been disproportionately affected by the “War on Drugs” -- particularly Black and Latino communities. 

“It’s important for the growth and prosperity of our city that the diversity we seek to achieve within the emerging cannabis industry exists at all levels, from storefront dispensaries to every ancillary opportunity to participate,” said Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion.“I am grateful to the team for working with Rooted In to put this necessary series of programs together, which will help advance the City’s goal of ensuring that the people most impacted by the criminalization of marijuana are set up to succeed and thrive in the period of its legalization.” 

In accordance with Massachusetts Zoning Law, Boston must have a minimum of 52 licensed cannabis establishments of which, at least half must be owned by an equity licensee, fulfilling a 1:1 equity ratio set forth in the Ordinance. As of today, only 38% of licensed establishments in Boston are owned and operated by equity applicants. With that, Mayor Wu is committed to ensuring that all of Boston’s communities can benefit from this emerging industry. This empowerment series will help identify a pipeline of equity applicants, cannabis entrepreneurs, the cannabis workforce, and ancillary opportunities.

"We believe that the Cannabis Empowerment Series is an important initiative towards promoting equity in the Boston cannabis industry. As a participant of Boston's Equity Program, we have experienced the benefits firsthand in areas such as grants and technical support” said Rokeya Chowdhury of Rooted In.  

This weeklong empowerment series will cover various aspects of the industry, providing attendees with essential knowledge for participating in the cannabis industry and establishing and maintaining successful cannabis businesses. Topics will include: 

  • Legislative History & Social Justice
  • License Types
  • Financing 
  • How to Create a Corporation 
  • City of Boston Host Community Agreements (HCA) 
  • Site Control 
  • Resources & Equity Programming
  • Ancillary Opportunities 

For more information about this free series including the schedule, attendees can register at this link.

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