New York state officially began accepting applications for recreational cannabis distributors on Thursday. This is a milestone in the new era of legalization of the Empire State.
The state’s cannabis agency said the deadline for initial application submissions is Sept. 26.
As announced earlier this year, the first dispensing licenses will be awarded to individuals with a cannabis-related conviction on record, or family members of individuals convicted of cannabis-related crimes. “
“Today’s announcement puts legal and licensed cannabis sales in New York State at risk,” said Cannabis Control Board Chairman Tremaine Wright. Said in a statement on Monday. “With the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, New York affirmed our commitment to ensuring that the first sale is made by those harmed by the ban. We are writing a new playbook for what it will look like and hope future states follow our lead.”
Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Cannabis Control Board, said the opening of the application period was “a monumental step towards establishing the most equitable, diverse and accessible cannabis industry in the country.”
“We have tried to make this application as easy as possible for all interested applicants.To fully emphasize that no legal expertise is required to complete this application. I can’t,” said Alexander.
The state announced the initiative in March, and Alexander said at the time that at least the first 100 pharmacy licenses would be awarded to convicted individuals.
Since legalizing recreational cannabis for adults last year, New York has made a concerted effort to do the right thing for the individuals and communities most adversely affected by cannabis prohibition.
In January, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of a $200 million fund to help Social Equity applicants looking to enter the state’s new legal cannabis industry.
“New York State’s legalized cannabis industry is still developing, and we expect the state to issue licenses for adult recreational use. We must create opportunities for New Yorkers in New York, especially those in historically marginalized communities,” the governor’s office said in an announcement at the time.
“To support that goal, Gov. Ho-Chol will establish a $200 million public-private fund to help social equity applicants plan and build their businesses,” the announcement continued. rice field. “Licensing fees and tax revenue will seed the fund and tap into significant private investment.”
Last month, Hochul announced a $5 million grant to the state’s community colleges to “create or enhance non-degree and degree-qualifying courses and programs, stackable and/or micro-qualifications, and provide support to local communities. Assist with programs to rapidly respond to employer skill needs.Cannabis sector, projected multi-billion dollar industry with tens of thousands of [of] work.
“New York’s new cannabis industry is creating exciting opportunities, and we will ensure that New Yorkers who want a career in this growing field have the quality training they need to succeed,” Hochul said in a statement. I was. “Diversity and inclusion are what make New York’s workforce a competitive and powerful asset, and we are taking concrete steps to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the cannabis industry. I will continue to teach.”
Community colleges selected for grants “must also partner with local employers in the cannabis industry to receive their input on curriculum development,” the state said last month, adding that the “New York State Department of Labor and Cannabis Administration supports our efforts to expand learning opportunities by helping connect companies and job seekers to these important training programs.”