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Inbox: Mass Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund Awards Over $2.3 Million

“With the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund, we are rewriting this narrative and providing a secure path for aspiring social equity cannabis entrepreneurs to succeed.”

On April 10, Talking Joints Memo reported that after more than a year of industry anticipation, the Massachusetts Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund, established by statute in 2022 to help “entrepreneurs from communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition,” finally appeared to be making grants to applicants. Some recipients had posted copied of letters they received from the state on social media, and a spokesperson from the administering Executive Office of Economic Development told us a formal announcement was coming.

Almost one week later, on April 16, the EOED posted that the commonwealth “awarded 50 grants to cannabis social equity businesses in 28 communities, totaling $2,350,000, through the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund (CSETF).” Adding, “These awards follow Governor Healey’s recent pardon of marijuana possession misdemeanor offenses as part of the administration’s efforts to advance equity and justice in Massachusetts.” An EOED press release continued: 

The Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund was established to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants for the purpose of encouraging the full participation in the state’s regulated marijuana industry of entrepreneurs from communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. The Immediate Needs Grant Program was launched in January as the first grant program to offer financial assistance from the Trust Fund to support eligible cannabis social equity license holders with urgent financial needs. 

“Our administration is committed to righting historic wrongs from the War on Drugs, both by addressing inequities in the criminal justice system and by advancing equity in the cannabis industry. With the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund, we’re creating a sustainable and inclusive path to the industry for Massachusetts entrepreneurs that have faced barriers to entry,” said Governor Maura Healey. “This funding will fill critical gaps necessary to allow social equity businesses to grow and succeed here in Massachusetts.” 

“Marijuana prohibition and enforcement has historically disadvantaged those living in communities of color. With the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund, we are rewriting this narrative and providing a secure path for aspiring social equity cannabis entrepreneurs to succeed,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll.  

“The Immediate Needs Grant Program exemplifies our commitment to advancing equity within the cannabis industry in Massachusetts,” said Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao. “This inaugural round of funding will not only boost our economy in new ways, but also reaffirms that our state is the best place for business.”  

The Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund was established by Section 14A of Chapter 94G of the General Laws. The legislation also established the Cannabis Social Equity Advisory Board, to work with and advise EOED on the administration of the Trust Fund. 

“I am proud to join the Healey-Driscoll administration to celebrate the inaugural round of awardees from the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund,” said State Senator Gomez, Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Cannabis Policy Committee. “Given the precedent set by prohibition era measures, commonly known as the War of Drugs, this financial assistance is only the beginning of sound legislation to address the dire need many cannabis dispensaries have vocalized. I look forward to advocating alongside my colleagues in the legislature for additional funding for entrepreneurs and communities in the Hampden district and across the Commonwealth.” 

“The Social Equity Trust Fund is the product of tireless effort from many advocates, stakeholders, and my colleagues in the Legislature to better ensure equitable access to the Cannabis industry. I would like to thank Speaker Mariano for his leadership and commitment to advancing this social equity fund last session,” said Representative Dan Donahue, House Chair of the Legislature’s Cannabis Policy Committee. “Thank you as well to the Social Equity Trust Fund board for their work in advising the administration on the program and their continuing efforts to address the wrongs of the War on Drugs with this access to capital.”  

The grant awardees are:  

  • Advesa MA, Inc. (City of Cambridge, $50,000)
  • Apple Guy Flowers, LLC (Town of Uxbridge, $50,000)
  • Aunty Budz LLC (Town of Florence, $50,000)
  • Bada Bloom! Inc. (Town of Tyngsborough, $50,000)
  • Bailey’s Buds LLC (Town of Dracut, $50,000)
  • Belle Fleur Holdings LLC (Town of Blandford, $50,000)
  • Blossom Flower LLC (Town of Holyoke, $50,000)
  • Blue Sky Organics LLC (Town of Newton, $50,000)
  • Boston Bud Factory Inc. (Town of Holyoke, $50,000)
  • Bracts & Pistils, LLC (Town of Taunton, $50,000)
  • Cloud 9 Cultivation LLC (City of Quincy, $20,000)
  • DB Delivery MA, LLC (City of Boston, $33,000)
  • Delivered, Inc. (Town of Clinton, $30,000)
  • Dris Corporation (Town of Natick, $50,000)
  • Elevation Inc. (City of Brockton, $50,000)
  • Ember Gardens Delivery LLC (Town of Somerset, $50,000)
  • Freshly Baked Company (City of Taunton, $50,000)
  • Gan Or LLC (Town of Northampton, $50,000)
  • Gas Bus LLC (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Grassp Ventures LLC (City of Salem, $50,000)
  • Green Flash Delivery LLC (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Greener Leaf, Inc. (Town of Fall River, $50,000)
  • Greenerside Holdings, LLC (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Herbal Power LLC (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Holyoke Smokes Corp (Town of Holyoke, $50,000)
  • Home Grown 617 LLC (City of Cambridge, $50,000)
  • Infused Element (Town of Holyoke, $35,000)
  • JimBuddys Rec Shop, Inc. (Town of Chicopee, $50,000)
  • KG Collective Brockton, LLC (City of Brockton, $32,000)
  • KindRun Massachusetts, LLC (Town of Hudson, $50,000)
  • Lucky Green Ladies, LLC (Town of Norton, $50,000)
  • Major Bloom (City of Worcester, $50,000)
  • Motah 420 LLC (Town of Adams, $50,000)
  • New Dia, LLC (City of Worcester, $50,000)
  • On Root, LLC (Town of Lynn, $50,000)
  • Paper Crane Provisions LLC (Town of Hubbardston, $50,000)
  • Primus LLC (City of Springfield, $50,000)
  • Rolling Releaf, LLC (Town of Newton, $50,000)
  • Rooted In LLC (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Royal Sun Farm LLC (Town of Hubbardston, $50,000)
  • Social-J, LLC (Town of Northampton, $25,000)
  • Stone’s Throw Cannabis LLC (City of Boston, $25,000)
  • Team Green, LLC (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Teddy’s Veggie Farm (Town of Spencer, $50,000)
  • The Heritage Club LLC (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Treevit LLC (Town of Athol, $50,000)
  • Underground Legacy Social Club LLC (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Uproot LLC (City of Worcester, $50,000)
  • Verdant Reparative Inc. (City of Boston, $50,000)
  • Zyp Run, Inc. (City of Boston, $50,000)