New England Treatment Access (NETA), a division of the privately-held, multi-state cannabis company Parallel and a leading cannabis operator in Massachusetts, today announced that "Florencia," a social equity cannabis license applicant, is the recipient of $25,000 through its Security Equipment Grant Program. NETA's initiative is designed to help reduce barriers to entry for social equity applicants into the state's cannabis industry.
Florencia will be one of the first to receive a home-delivery license from the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) for social equity applicants. The company plans to locate in Uxbridge, Massachusetts pending final town approvals. Florencia is owned by Jensen and Jackson Mejia, twin brothers who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1991 and have called Worcester, Massachusetts home. The Mejia's brother Ardwin, who is a decorated U.S. Marine, serving the country around the world, will join the business when he returns from his current military duties. The $25,000 grant will be used to outfit their delivery vehicles with compliant security equipment, as mandated by the CCC.
"The Mejia brothers are impressive entrepreneurs who share NETA's commitment to promote social responsibility and inclusion in their workplace and in the cannabis industry," said Kim Napoli, Sr. Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Affairs for Parallel. "We decided the brothers should receive the entire $25,000 grant because they represent the ideal of the state's social equity program, and our intention to promote communities of color who do not have the financial backing to get started in the industry. This Massachusetts focused grant program is part of our NETA Cares Initiatives, which is one piece of Parallel's efforts to foster, cultivate and preserve a culture of diversity and equity across our entire company."
The Mejia brothers expressed their gratitude to NETA and Parallel for supporting their opportunity, saying "This is not only meaningful to us, but also to the goal of achieving social equity in cannabis. To us, the social equity program is not only a public acknowledgement of the systemic inequality in our society, but a powerful tool to begin to redress that inequality."
Jensen and Jackson noted, "We recognize the responsibility we have to our community to be good stewards of this opportunity. For that reason, we plan to operate Florencia in a way that fosters and maximizes opportunities for people from disadvantaged communities and to give back as much as we possibly can."
NETA will be presenting the funds to Florencia next week.
Parallel is one of the largest privately-held, vertically-integrated, multi-state cannabis companies in the world with a mission to pioneer well-being and improve the quality of life through cannabinoids. Parallel owns and operates retail dispensaries in four medical and adult-use markets: Surterra Wellness in Florida and Texas; New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Massachusetts, and The Apothecary Shoppe in Nevada. Parallel also has a license under its Goodblend brand in Pennsylvania for vertically-integrated operations and up to six retail locations, in addition to a medical cannabis research partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. The Company has a diverse portfolio of high quality, proprietary and licensed consumer brands and products including Surterra Wellness, Coral Reefer, Float and Heights. Parallel operates approximately 50 retail stores nationwide, including cultivation and manufacturing sites across the four states. The Company, through its biosciences division, conducts advanced cannabis science and R&D for new product development in its facilities in Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, and Budapest, Hungary. Parallel follows rigorous operations and business practices to ensure the quality, safety, consistency and efficacy of its products and is building its business by following strong values and putting the well-being of its customers and employees first. Find more information at www.liveParallel.com, or on Instagram and LinkedIn.