The state of Massachusetts was awarded the first provisional license under the state’s social equity licensing rules. Pure Oasis is a Boston-based dispensary and the owners say that they will hire locally and hope to help establish other small businesses in the area. The location is expected to open by late October and is the first cannabis dispensary to benefit from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s economic empowerment program. The program is a social equity initiative for the cannabis industry.
A key requirement for applicants of the state’s program is that they must originate from an area that has historically high cannabis arrest rates. Other requirements include past drug convictions or being the spouse or child of someone with a drug conviction or having lived in an area of disproportionate impact. They must also have an income that doesn’t exceed 40 percent of the federal poverty level. Finally, applicants must have lived in Massachusetts for at least 12 months.
Pure Oasis still requires a final license and operating certificate as the license granted was only provisional. The program seeks to provide 123 social equity licenses, but there have only been 10 applications. This could be due to the fact that the applications costs between $50,000 and $60,000. The politics seem to be the hardest part as the state requires businesses to enter into Host Community Agreements. This allows municipalities to collect up to three percent of a business’ sales for up to five years. The company plans to hire individuals from the community including those with criminal records.