Cannabis Watch: New York poised to award first retail cannabis licenses to drug war casualties instead of big incumbents

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Stock Market

New York State has officially opened up its application process for retail cannabis dispensaries with plans to award the first 150 licenses to people who were imprisoned for cannabis offenses. It’s unclear, however, where the state’s large cannabis operators that have been running its medical cannabis dispensaries fit in for now, in a market that could generate up to $15 billion a year in sales.

Unlike other states that awarded the first licenses to larger cannabis companies, the state is instead prioritizing local entrepreneurs who have been locked up for marijuana and also immediate family members of victims of the War on Drugs. “We’re doing what no other state has ever tried,” said Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management at a Thursday press conference. Gia Moron, president of Women Grow, said New York is fostering “the most diverse and equitable market in the country.” The application process for the first retail licenses closes on Sept. 26. Also Read: New York’s new cannabis chief vows that half of legal licenses will go to social justice efforts New York has already been talking to real estate brokers about securing retail locations for the adult-use licensees and even building stores, officials said. To finance these businesses, the state has set up a $200 million social equity fund. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic said Friday it’s unclear wheth …

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