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Boston Cannabiz 101: City gives a boost to cannabis entrepreneurs

The January program is aimed at entrepreneurs interested in running a cannabis business in Boston. 

Boston’s aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs can get a leg up thanks to a collaboration between the city and local cannabis advocates.

Mayor Michelle Wu announced details of Boston Cannabiz 101, which is a series of free informational sessions on the cannabis industry and entrepreneurship. The January program, a city collaboration with the Core Empowerment Social Justice Cannabis Museum in Jamaica Plain, is aimed at entrepreneurs interested in running a cannabis business in Boston. 

The hope, officials said, is to increase the number of equity-owned cannabis business licensees and applicants in the city. Boston officials aim to boost the Black, Latino, Asian and Indigenous communities, which have been disproportionately affected by the “War on Drugs.”

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“As we build a cannabis industry in our city, it’s crucial to uplift the communities that have lived the harms of previous marijuana laws and enforcement,” said Wu. “I encourage all interested entrepreneurs to use these resources to ensure equitable growth for this emerging industry.”

In November 2019, Boston passed an ordinance to help clear a path for these minority communities to thrive within the industry. A state zoning law requires the city to have at least 52 licensed cannabis facilities. 

Wu’s office said the three-day-long sessions will help identify a pipeline of equity applicants and cannabis entrepreneurs.

Interested entrepreneurs can attend the free sessions on Jan. 18, 19, and 20 at the Core Cannabis Museum on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. The series will cover everything a cannabis business owner needs to know to be successful, according to organizers. 

Some Cannabiz highlights include:

  • The legislative history of cannabis legalization
  • The need for social justice within the industry
  • Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) licensing types and operating procedures
  • How to finance a cannabis business 
  • How to create a corporation 
  • City of Boston Host Community Agreements (HCA) 
  • Site Control 

Interested participants can RSVP on Eventbrite. Seating is limited.

What to know about the Boston Cannabis Equity Applicant Fund 

A part of the Boston Equity Program, the Boston Cannabis Equity Fund offers financing to certified Equity Applicants and licensees for a wide range of purposes, including working capital, startup costs, build-out, equipment purchases, and rental assistance. The program provides grants between $1,000 and $15,000.

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Cannabis Equity Fund applicants must be certified as an Equity Applicant in order to participate.

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