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Social Equity Programs

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Social Equity Programs (SEP)

This discussion thread focuses on the various Social Equity Programs which exist across the USA and other countries. We'd like to hear from our Members if you're involved in one of these programs, or are aware of their set-up and management.

Massachusetts is one state in the USA which has a strong Social Equity Program which has been set up by the Cannabis Control Commission. Here's an excerpt from their site:

"The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) is committed to encouraging and enabling full participation in the marijuana industry by people from communities that have previously been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement, and to positively impact those communities. These efforts include the development of policies and procedures in addition to the Social Equity Program (SEP) and the Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant status.

Social Equity Program
The Social Equity Program (SEP) creates sustainable pathways into the cannabis industry for individuals most impacted by the War on Drugs, marijuana prohibition, disproportionate arrest, and incarceration. The free, statewide technical assistance and training program provides Participants with education, skill-based training, and tools for success in the industry across four areas: entrepreneurship, managerial-level workforce development, re-entry and entry-level workforce development, and ancillary business support.

The SEP is not a license type. Upon completion of this program, participants will have acquired tools and training to apply for and obtain a license through the Cannabis Control Commission (Commission). However, completion of the program does not guarantee licensure.

SEP benefits include:

Free technical assistance and training through vendors certified by the Commission; and
Expedited license application review for individuals who maintain 10% ownership in the business.
For those who maintain majority ownership in the business, the following fee waivers and exclusive license types are also available:

Waived application fees (this waiver does not include the costs associated with background checks);
Waived seed-to-sale Metrc monthly program fees (this waiver does not include other costs associated with the Seed-to-sale tracking system, specifically the fees for plant and package tags);
Exclusive access to Social Consumption and Delivery-Only License types for up to a minimum of three years, as well as a pre-certification application that offers applicants a preliminary application process that certifies their propensity to run a business of one of these two license types; and
A 50% reduction of annual license fees, regardless of license type.


Understanding Equality vs. Equity
Equality involves giving everyone the same resources, whereas equity involves giving resources based on the individual needs of the recipients.

While equality focuses on dividing resources equally, equity focuses on dividing resources proportionally to the needs of those involved in order to achieve a fair outcome.

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