Former cannabis convicts in New York will get first dibs on adult-use retail licenses

The first round of retail cannabis licenses in New York will soon be issued to former cannabis convicts across the State. 

A “social equity” plan has been issued by the New York Governor’s Press Office detailing how the first batch will be earmarked for residents who have previously been charged with a cannabis-related offense.

Individuals who have been directly affected by cannabis prohibition will be given priority status for business ownership ahead of other applicants.

According to a spokesperson for the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, cannabis dispensary licenses will be available for an initial fee of $2,000.

“Social equity” applicants were updated on the rules after members of the control board compiled a five-page fact sheet on cannabis management. 

In their fact sheet, the control board highlighted how recreational cannabis legalization contributed to the legalization of recreational cannabis in 2021. 

The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), say control board members, is designed to promote “social and economic equity.”

The MRTA incentivizes participation in the new industry for individuals disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition, automatically expunges an individual’s past marijuana convictions, and invests 40% of the adult use cannabis tax revenue toward rebuilding communities harmed by the War on Drugs,” reads an excerpt from the fact sheet.

Which applicants will receive priority status to apply for recreational Cannabis licenses in New York?