A special state fund in Massachusetts created in 2022 by lawmakers to route millions of dollars in aid to social equity entrepreneurs was never given a single dollar, and so has never awarded any monies to social equity cannabis companies.
According to the Boston Business Journal, the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund was supposed to receive 15% of all cannabis sales tax revenues, and then dole out that cash to businesses run by individuals harmed by the war on drugs.
But a June meeting of the advisory board established to oversee that fund found that it’s completely broke and never received the money it was supposed to, the Journal reported.
The issue appears to be a technical one; the law that created the fund was written so that none of the revenues would be transferred from the Marijuana Regulation Fund – where the 15% collections are currently sitting – to the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund until it’s first all put into “something called the Consolidated Net Surplus account,” the Journal reported.
An interim fix by the Office for Administration and Finance is in the works, which could make $2 million-$4 million available for social equity companies within a few months, but many eligible businesses say they’re strapped for cash and need help asap.
“We’ve been waiting extremely long turns into this evolving conversation that just continues,” one social equity licensee told the Journal.