Advocate: “That’s corrupting the entire spirit of the social equity approach.”

Although the Connecticut recreational marijuana industry just launched in January, one longtime medical cannabis patient, advocate, and volunteer lobbyist says the market is in jeopardy of being taken over completely by multistate operators who want to crowd out competition from local entrepreneurs.

Social Equity Partners

Several social equity permits already are controlled by large multistate companies, according to various media reports and the companies themselves, including:

  • Acreage Holdings (OTC: ACRHF)
  • Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF)
  • Green Thumb Industries (OTC: GTBIF)
  • Verano Holdings (OTC: VRNOF)

The MSOs landed “equity joint ventures” that allow them a 50% license discount – $1.5 million instead of $3 million – if they partner with a qualified social equity applicant.

That’s tantamount to corrupting the entire spirit of the social equity approach, said Louis Rinaldi, a medical cannabis patient, since the point of social equity was to repair harms wrought on minorities by the war on drugs, not to give market share to large companies run largely by white men.

The Connecticut Social Equity Council, Rinaldi said, has been “essentially co-opted by the Connecticut Cannabis Chamber of Commerce as well as Acreage Holdings … and possibly others, other MSOs, to help advance their legislative agenda in the state. And this agenda is in service to maintaining and maximizing market share, at the expense of local small business owners. That’s really the meat of the whole thing.”…

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