During the 2022 New York State of State, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of a $200 million public-private fund earmarked to support social equity applicants seeking to enter New York State’s cannabis industry. The creation of the fund, through private investment, licensing fees, and tax revenue, is to further the state’s initiative to create a more inclusive and diverse cannabis industry and achieve the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act’s (“MRTA”) goal of issuing fifty percent of all licenses to equity applicants, including individuals from impacted communities, minority- and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers, justice-involved individuals, and service-disabled veterans. The fund will provide social equity applicants with general business support, training for cannabis entrepreneurs, direct capital, and startup financing.
Despite the announcement, the newly appointed Cannabis Control Board has not provided any detail regarding the requirements and innerworkings of the social equity program, which we expect to receive in the forthcoming proposed regulations. However, Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board, previously indicated that the proposed regulations may be released for public comment as early as the end of January 2022. The Firm will closely follow for the release of the proposed regulatory framework and guidelines for social equity applicants.
The Firm has been monitoring the progress of New York’s cannabis industry from its inception and remains informed on all developments by the New York legislature. We are available to answer any cannabis related inquires and counsel potential applicants on preparatory steps to be taken while we wait for the proposed regulations to be made public.