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Previous Marijuana Convictions Get First Dibs To Retail Licenses

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The first licenses to sell recreational marijuana in New York will go to people considered casualties of the war on drugs.


Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday (March 10th) announced the first-in-the-nation Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which will position individuals with prior cannabis-related criminal offenses to make the first adult-use cannabis sales with products grown by New York farmers.

They will get dibs on the first 100 to 200 retail cannabis licenses awarded by the state.

This farm-to-store initiative makes sales in New York possible before the end of 2022, jumpstarts New York’s Cannabis Industry, guarantees support for future equity applicants, and secures an early investment into communities most impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

“New York State is making history, launching a first-of-its-kind approach to the cannabis industry that takes a major step forward in righting the wrongs of the past,” Governor Hochul said. “The regulations advanced by the Cannabis Control Board today will prioritize local farmers and entrepreneurs, creating jobs and opportunity for communities that have been left out and left behind. I’m proud New York will be a national model for the safe, equitable and inclusive industry we are now building.”

The Cannabis Control Board at its meeting today advanced two components of the Seeding Opportunity Initiative.

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