Social Equity Programs

The Commission is committed to implementing a variety of programs to actively engage people from communities of disproportionate impact and ensure their inclusion in the legal cannabis industry.

Many programs were developed in response to evidence which demonstrates that certain populations, particularly Blacks and Latinos, have been disproportionately impacted by high rates of arrest and incarceration for cannabis and other drug crimes as a result of state and federal drug policy. Criminalization has had long-term ill effects, not only on the individuals arrested and incarcerated, but on their families and communities.

We now have the opportunity to redress the historic harm done to those specific individuals and communities.

Contact Shekia Scott, Director of Community Outreach to learn how you can partner with the Commission in its efforts.

What is Equity?

Equity is the recognition and accommodation of differences through fairness in process and result to prevent the continuation of an inequitable status quo.

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Social Equity Program

Interested in learning more? Stay updated through our social equity news list.

The Social Equity Program is designed to build a pathway for individuals and businesses to enter the cannabis industry, regardless of their desired specialty within the industry. Its overall mission is to decrease the disparities in life outcomes for impacted individuals and improve the quality of life in areas of disproportionate impact.


  • Reduce barriers to entry in the commercial marijuana industry, regardless of desired specialty within the industry;
  • Provide professional and technical services as well as mentoring for individuals and businesses facing systemic barriers; and
  • Promote sustainable, socially and economically reparative practices in the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts.

Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for the Social Equity Program, an applicant must meet only one of the criteria below

  • Have resided in an area of disproportionate impact for at least 5 of the past 10 years; Income may not exceed 400% of federal poverty level.
  • Applicant has a past drug conviction and has been a resident of Massachusetts for at least the preceding 12 months; or
  • Applicant has been married to or is the child of a person with a drug conviction, and has been a resident of Massachusetts for at least the preceding 12 months;
Economic Empowerment

Sorry, the Economic Empowerment Priority Review Program has ended! Please review or apply to our other social equity programs.

The Economic Empowerment Priority Review application period was 4/2/18 – 4/16/18. The Commission granted priority review status to 123 applicants who met the criteria. A subset of the applicants will be eligible for the Social Equity Program regardless of their priority status. Applicants can check their priority status on our public documents page and join our social equity news list for more information on our equity provisions.

If you applied for Economic Empowerment Priority Review and you need help, you can call the Cannabis Control Commission at 617-701-8400 or email us at CannabisCommission@State.MA.US

Social Equity Provisions & Resources
Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

The Commission seeks vendors to develop face-to-face and on demand curriculum as well as professional training, technical services and mentoring in various areas of expertise for the Social Equity Program. If interested, please click on the RFQ below to review. Please contact, Adriana Campos, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, with questions.


RFQ Materials and Additional Forms

Introduction to the Cannabis Control Commission Social Equity Program RFQ

RFQ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)