New York’s cannabis program is moving full steam ahead to address key components of the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA). Last week, the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) for the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) convened for its first official meeting of 2022, giving updates on topics such as medical marijuana accessibility for which the public has been anxiously waiting.
New York’s $200 Million Social Equity Fund
Arguably the biggest announcement was the confirmation of a $200 million public-private equity fund for social equity, which Governor Kathy Hochul outlined in her State of the State plan earlier in the month.
The fund will focus on the cannabis program’s social equity entrepreneurs, applicants, and communities adversely impacted by the War on Drugs. It will draw some money from industry revenue, such as licensing fees, but it will also be fueled by private sources, providing capital that can be given more directly to social equity applicants.
“This will allow us to assist so that our social equity applicants who are interested in retail licenses have the funding they need for capital improvements to open their facilities in a timely manner,” McDaniel said during his presentation. He emphasized that the fund will make it possible for these entrepreneurs to “get into business in a way that other states have not achieved.”
This setup provides for much more flexibility in how the Office of Cannabis Management can support social equity applicants with entrepreneurial training, financial assistance, and the ability to employ a local workforce. Funds are currently slated to go to efforts for the leasing, design, construction and other needs in establishing cannabis retail businesses. Additionally, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) will deliver a range of services to aid social equity applicants.
When Will Dispensaries Be Open for Business in New York?
As per official communications, adult-use dispensaries won’t be operational until 2023. But medical dispensaries are currently open, and you can find out more information on the medical marijuana program by visiting the Office of Cannabis Management’s website at cannabis.ny.gov.
When Will License Applications Become Available in New York?
No formal date has been set, as the OCM and CCB are still gathering data. However, license applications will likely be available by the end of Summer 2022.
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