Massachusetts: Public Comment Now Open Regarding Changes to the Commission’s Disproportionately Impacted Areas

CANNANNEW REPORT

Starting Monday, January 31, 2022, the public may weigh in on possible changes to the Cannabis Control Commission (Commission)’s list of 29 Massachusetts municipalities – including certain census tracts – deemed Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs). Submissions should be sent to Commission@CCCMass.com with the subject line, “Public Comment: Disproportionately Impacted Areas” by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 2022. The map above shows the Commission’s 29 identified Disproportionately Impacted Areas in Massachusetts. Note: the Cities of Boston, Lowell, Worcester, and Springfield DIAs are limited to specific census tracts. What are DIAs, and why do they matter? The Commission has designated certain geographic areas in Massachusetts as DIAs for having historically disproportionately higher drug-policy enforcement and lower socio-economic status due to marijuana prohibition and the War on Drugs. The 29 DIAs respond to the Commission’s equity mandates under state law (M.G.L. c. 94G, 4(a½)(iv)) and its own regulations requiring the agency to establish procedures and policies to promote and encourage full participation in the regulated marijuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities. The current list of DIAs, in part, established eligibility for the Commission’s Economic Empowerment program, for which state law only permitted applications during a two-week period in 2018. The 122 Certified Economic Empowerment Applicants receive priority license application review, certain fee waivers, and exclusive access to Commission pre-certification and delivery and social consumption license types for a minimum of three years. DIAs are also relied on for determining eligibility for participation in the agency’s Social Equity Program (SEP). The SEP is an ongoing training and technical assistance program intended to assist individuals from communities that have been harmed by the War on Drugs with gaining full participation in the regulated industry as marijuana business owners, employees, or ancillary services working alongside licensees. The SEP…

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Source : Massachusetts: Public Comment Now Open Regarding Changes to the Commission’s Disproportionately Impacted Areas

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