AAFCPAs would like to make Cannabis clients aware that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission announced on January 23rd the availability of financial resources with the launch of its first funding from the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund (Trust Fund). The Immediate Needs Grant Program will offer grants to support cannabis business license holders with urgent financial needs.
The program “seeks to address the most urgent financial needs of Massachusetts cannabis businesses by providing grants to Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Center businesses (see Appendix I for definitions) in amounts up to $50,000 to support imminent or outstanding expenses essential to the operation of the business.
Virtual Information Session: January 30, 2024 (Zoom registration will be posted on CCC website)
Application Deadline: 11:59 PM on February 15, 2024
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for funds from this program:
- Be a duly organized business entity in good standing and located in Massachusetts;
- Be a Marijuana Establishment or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center with a Provisional or Final License issued by the Commission (See Appendix I for definitions);
- Qualify as an Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant or Social Equity Business by
- (i) the Commission designating the business entity as an Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant;
- (ii) the business entity has a majority of ownership designated by the Commission as an Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant; or
- (iii) the business entity has a majority of ownership designated by the Commission as Social Equity Program Participants; and
- At the time of application for financial assistance from the Immediate Needs Grant Program, all such individuals or entities shall continue to meet the criteria allowing them to receive initial designation as an Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant or Social Equity Program Participant.
- The entity applying for financial assistance, or any person or entity with an ownership interest in the entity applying for financial assistance, is in good standing with the Cannabis Control Commission and has not received a recommendation or determination of adverse suitability from the Commission.
- Demonstrate a need for funds to support imminent or outstanding expenses essential to the operation of the business.
Allowable Use of Funds
Applicants may request funds to support imminent or outstanding expenses essential to the operation of the business, including but not limited to:
- Personnel costs: Business payroll expenses;
- Rent, lease, utilities, or other facility expenses
- Regulatory Fees: Application, permitting, licensing and other regulatory fees needed to maintain licensure;
- Professional Services: Outstanding bills for critical services, such as legal, accounting, etc.;
- Debt service: Loans repayments or business debt service, both principal and interest, to help bring loans current (not for any prepayment of principal or interest); and/or
- Other expenses that support stabilizing the business.
Limitation of Funds
Awardees are prohibited from using grant funds for the following purposes:
- Purchase of marijuana products, paraphernalia, or any related inventory.
- Lobbying; allocations to reserve funds; or for the satisfaction of any obligation arising under or pursuant to a settlement agreement, judgement, consent decree, or judicially confirmed debt restructuring plan in a judicial, administrative, or regulatory proceeding.
- Grantees must prevent the duplication of benefits, which means grant funds may not be used to pay expenses if another source of financial aid has paid that same expense.
Read the full Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), which includes details, terms & conditions.
What we advise.
AAFCPAs advises clients to review the criteria for eligibility and the application process immediately and determine what is needed as supporting documentation. Applications will be reviewed based on applicant eligibility, intended use of funds, demonstrated need and urgency, and readiness to deploy financial assistance.
AAFCPAs is available to assist in determining eligibility and in preparing supporting documentation.
If you have questions, please contact David McManus, CPA, CGMA, Tax Partner & Cannabis Practice Leader at 774.512.4014 or email@example.com, Janice O’Reilly, CPA, CGMA, Partner at 774.512.9046 or firstname.lastname@example.org—or your AAFCPAs Partner.