The first New York cannabis license goes to convicted people

Albany, NY (AP) —The first license to sell recreational marijuana in New York will be given to those who were victims of the war on drugs, state officials said Wednesday.

Marijuana-related convictions were the first 100-200 retailers awarded by the state to correct inequality in the judicial system that trapped a disproportionate number of colored races due to drug crimes. Get a cannabis license.

Some licenses apply to nonprofits or businesses that have leaders associated with marijuana convictions. Persons with parents, legal guardians, children, or spouses convicted of marijuana-related crimes will also be prioritized.

Democratic Governor Kathy Hokul will announce planned regulations for “social equality” applicants on Thursday.

Regulations will get a green light from the state cannabis control committee later that day, said Freeman Cropot, a cannabis control spokesman.

The conviction is state Legalization bill Signed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The plan is First reported According to the New York Times. The rules were posted on the state website on Wednesday.

It’s unclear how many retail licenses will be issued in New York, the second most populous state after California, to legalize possession and use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21.

Social equality has emerged as an important theme in the legalization of marijuana in recent years.

States where marijuana is legal have been increasingly attempted in recent years to secure a place in the market for those charged with currently licensed narcotics.But the effort is Slow movement In many states.

New York is “making a big difference,” said Cassandra Frederik, executive director of the drug policy alliance that drives legalization.

“I don’t know what will work,” she said, but “What New York shows here is that they are willing to take on challenges and try different ways … This is a real attempt to achieve fairness. “

The licensing plan follows other New York initiatives such as: Proposed $ 200 Million Startup Grant and Loan Fund For women and minority marijuana entrepreneurs, struggling farmers, disabled veterans, and people in the community who have endured the crackdown on cannabis.

New York aims to provide such applicants with 50% of the license.

“It’s really encouraging to see New York incorporating lessons learned from other states,” said Melissa Moore, another drug policy alliance leader.

New York regulations also set out rules for other retail license applicants. Individual applicants must prove their presence in New York and have at least 10% ownership of a business that has made a net profit for two years.

Steve Hawkins, CEO of the US Cannabis Council, an industry group, said: “This effort is certainly acceptable and very meaningful to us in that it gives individuals affected by the war on drugs the opportunity to enter a market that will be a very important market in New York State. It’s what we consider to be. “

The Hochul administration has vowed to create the “most diverse and comprehensive” marijuana industry in the United States and provide opportunities for those who have been blamed for decades of the US war on drugs.


The Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed from New York.