Massachusetts regulators have approved more than 1,000 adult-use cannabis licenses. Data: Cannabis Control Commission; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios
Kobie Evans and his business partner spend tens of thousands of dollars every quarter on marketing, staff salaries and inventory for Pure Oasis, a cannabis dispensary in Dorchester.
Unlike neighboring businesses, though, he can’t write them off as tax-exempt expenses.
What’s happening: That will soon change for Evans and cannabis retailers across Massachusetts with the equity proposal Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law Thursday.
The new law alters the state tax code — which mirrored a federal tax code that was created in the 1980s to penalize cocaine traffickers — so cannabis retailers can write off business expenses like companies in other industries.The new law also creates a trust fund to help entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities break into the industry.And it limits what fees and perks communities can squeeze out of prospective cannabis businesses in their contracts, known as host community agreements.
Why it matters: The law aims to level the playing field between large cannabis corporations and mom-and-pop shops.
At a glance, Massachusetts appears to have one of the most progressive cannabis industries, with licenses set aside for certain minority- and veteran-owned businesses. Yes, but: The process for getting