New York to open social equity marijuana licensing window

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The window for marijuana social equity retail license applications to be submitted in New York state will last a little more than a month, beginning Aug. 25 and ending Sept. 26.

According to Albany TV station WRGB, the state Office of Cannabis Management will be taking applications during that period for qualified social equity retailers only – identified by New York regulators as “Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary” permits – and not from the general public.

State regulators have said repeatedly that the first recreational marijuana sales in New York will be performed by social equity entrepreneurs – those impacted directly by the war on drugs – and the new licensing announcement is part of that so-called “Seeding Opportunity Initiative,” WRGB reported.

“New York has affirmed our commitment to making sure the first sales are conducted by those harmed by prohibition,” said Tremaine Wright, the chair of the New York Cannabis Control Board.

“We’re writing a new playbook for what an equitable launch of a cannabis industry looks like and hope future states follow our lead,”

To be eligible to apply, WRGB reported, applicants must:

  • Have a marijuana-related arrest or conviction on their record – or a family member with such a record – that pr-dates March 2021.
  • Have experience owning or running a business.

More information is available on the New York Office of Cannabis Management website.

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The move adds to the adult-use cultivation permits regulators began awarding in July.

Adult-use sales are expected to begin in New York before the end of the year or in early 2023.