ALBANY, N.Y. – New York State is granting its first cannabis retail licenses to those with marijuana-related convictions. The declaration is a part of New York State’s intentions to open retail marijuana stores while, at the same time, giving opportunities to those once convicted for similar activities. The first 100 licenses to go to people having lived those 420 lifestyles.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has supported putting drug offenders “first in line” for permits to operate marijuana dispensaries. The controversial rules limit eligibility to operators where at least one applicant was convicted of marijuana-related crimes. It applies immediately to someone swept up before marijuana was legalized and approved by the Democrat-appointed N.Y. Cannabis Control Board.
The first stores to open and conduct business in New York as part of the Seeding Opportunity Initiative will be operated by individuals previously convicted of a cannabis-related crime and with experience owning and running small businesses. Officials say it’s an excellent way for these people to prove to the public how they can contribute to a better 420 lifestyles for cannabis enthusiasts. The proposal will allow these people to apply for a conditional adult-use retail dispensary microbusiness license. By doing this, the state’s adult-use market welcomes equity-owned companies.
The licensing initiative tries to repair the harm caused by the war on drugs, which has come under fire for disproportionately impacting communities of color and emphasizing drug use as a criminal offense rather than a public health concern. Black and Latino residents have been arrested on low-level marijuana offenses at higher rates than their white counterparts, despite similar use rates across races.
With an emphasis on social equality because of their 420 lifestyles, lawmakers legalized cannabis last year, understanding that regulations should correct historical wrongs and remove barriers that keep some individuals from accessing possibilities. However, there are mounting worries that the licensing procedure has been more challenging than anticipated and has left qualified applicants needing help.
Here’s more information on the topic:
Why New York’s First Cannabis Licenses Will Go To People With Pot Convictions
New Yorkers With Marijuana Convictions Will Get First Retail Licenses
New York’s budding cannabis industry prioritizes ex-offenders