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New York’s First Adult-Use Cannabis Licenses Will Be Awarded To Social-Equity Applicants

New York’s First Adult-Use Cannabis Licenses Will Be Awarded To Social-Equity Applicants

new york cannabis licensing

In an effort to make up for the inequities in their justice system, people with convictions related to marijuana will get first dibs on the 100 to 200 retail licenses that will be awarded by New York state.

On Thursday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced that those convicted of cannabis-related crimes will be able to obtain the first adult-use retail marijuana licenses in the state. The Seeding Opportunity Initiative is a program that will provide the first licenses to social-equity applicants who also have prior experience running and owning a small business

The governor’s office stated in a press release that the plan, combined with a new law allowing hemp farmers to produce cannabis for the adult-use market that had just been passed, might enable sales in the state by the end of 2022. According to the news, the state Cannabis Control Board on Thursday authorized a hemp cultivator’s license application for spring cultivation of THC-rich cannabis.

"New York State is making history, launching a first-of-its-kind approach to the cannabis industry that takes a major step forward in righting the wrongs of the past. The regulations advanced by the Cannabis Control Board today will prioritize local farmers and entrepreneurs, creating jobs and opportunity for communities that have been left out and left behind. I’m proud New York will be a national model for the safe, equitable, and inclusive industry we are now building."

-New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D)

Tremaine Wright of the Cannabis control board was quoted as saying that New York’s recreational adult-use cannabis law “sets a high goal for creating an equitable industry that puts New Yorkers first.” Wright also said that “The Seeding Initiative puts us on a path for achieving that goal, and hopefully models a way forward for reaching those goals while building a stable market.”

The Seeding Initiative

The Seeding Initiative includes a $200 million social-equity investment program, and allows social-equity applicants and hemp farmers’ the opportunity to obtain conditional cannabis dispensary licenses.

This “unexpected” potential start date for cannabis sales is due to the fact that Wright had previously stated that adult-use cannabis licenses would not be granted until at least the spring of 2023. According to the governor’s office, applications for priority licenses will begin in the summer and first licenses will be available by late summer or early fall.

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Sheva Pekar - Founder and CEO of PsyCann Advisors
Sheva Pekar is the founder, CEO and visionary leader of PsyCann Advisors. Through 5 years in the cannabis industry serving and advocating for clients in many different facets of the industry, Sheva has built a strong strategic industry vision and long game approach to business development. She has a unique skill on direct, clear, and respectful communication that has built trust and confident in clients and colleagues. She is poised to be a leader in new and adaptive industries.

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