• Groups will help guide Mass. marijuana startups in equity program


    BOSTON - Marijuana regulators have approved several organizations to provide training and mentoring for startup cannabis companies that hope to be part of Massachusetts' social equity program.

    The program, billed as the first of its kind in the country, is designed to provide opportunities in the commercial marijuana industry for residents who live in low-income areas or were disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition - including those with past drug convictions.

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    A total of seven organizations were chosen by the Cannabis Control Commission to provide instruction, technical services and other guidance for social equity participants.

    • Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN): a provider of advocacy, research, and education services related to cannabis
    • Earthwise Outreach: a Boston-based cannabis training and education group specializing in entry-level and entrepreneurial training
    • Greenlight: a provider of client services for navigating the cannabis industry landscape
    • Marketing Edge Consulting Group: a certified, woman-owned business that collaborates with public and private organizations to help entrepreneurs achieve their business goals
    • Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council (MRCC): a nonprofit that seeks to ensure the safety of recreational marijuana consumers by bridging the gaps between communities, local legislators, and Massachusetts businesses
    • Point7: a Women's Business Enterprise National Council-certified organization supporting cannabis businesses throughout the United States and abroad
    • QIC: a team of professionals with multistate managerial experience in medical and recreational consumer-facing cannabis markets. 

    Massachusetts voters legalized the adult use of recreational marijuana in 2016. The state's first pot shops are expected to open within the next few weeks.

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