NEW YORK – In an effort to redress inequities in the justice system during the war on drugs, the state of New York will give the first 100-200 retail cannabis licenses to sellers with marijuana-related convictions.
According to ABC 7, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the nation’s first “Seeding Opportunity Initiative,” on Thursday with the goal of putting those with prior cannabis-related offences in a position to make the first legal sales of cannabis grown in the state.
Gov. Hochul believes the farm-to-store initiative will jumpstart New York’s inclusive cannabis industry and allow retail stores to open by the end of 2022.
“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,” said Gov. Hochel.
The Seeding Opportunity Initiative requires a subset of dispensaries to be owned by entrepreneurs who are active in their communities with a prior cannabis-related criminal offense who also have a background owning a small business.
To be included into the initiative, all of the retailer’s convictions must have taken place before adult-use was legalized on March 31, 2021.