Adams announces new ganja initiative

Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner, Kevin D. Kim on Tuesday announced the launch of Cannabis NYC, a first-of-its-kind initiative and suite of services to support the equitable growth of the cannabis industry in New York City — a key pillar of Adams’ Blueprint for New York City’s economic recovery.

Housed at SBS, Adams said Cannabis NYC will support cannabis entrepreneurs and their workers as the industry develops.

He said the initiative will work with industry stakeholders to create good jobs, successful small businesses and sustainable economic opportunities, while also addressing the harms of cannabis prohibition.

The mayor said Cannabis NYC services will also include the city’s first-ever technical assistance for cannabis license applicants, as well as other business services to take entrepreneurs beyond licensing to a thriving operation.


“Today, we light up our economy and launch Cannabis NYC — a first-of-its-kind initiative to support equitable growth of the cannabis industry in New York City,” Adams said. “The regulated adult-use cannabis industry is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our underserved communities that have, for too long, faced disproportionate rates of drug-related incarceration to get in on the industry on the ground floor.

“Cannabis NYC will plant the seeds for the economy of tomorrow by helping New Yorkers apply for licenses and understand how to open and successfully run a business, while simultaneously rolling equity into our economy by giving those who have been justice-involved and those with a cannabis conviction a chance to succeed,” he added. “This is about creating good jobs, successful small businesses, and finally delivering equity to communities harmed by the ‘War on Drugs.’”

“Whether you’re interested in opening up a cannabis dispensary or in the many other business and employment opportunities that will soon be available, Cannabis NYC is ready to help you get to work,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer.

“With a meaningful focus on equity, Cannabis NYC will help push our city toward a robust economic recovery with new and high-paying jobs and hundreds of millions in revenue to be reinvested in those communities most harmed by the ‘War on Drugs’ and the current pandemic,” she added.

“Cannabis NYC is ready to help New Yorkers succeed in this budding industry,” said SBS Commissioner Kim. “New York City and state will work hand-in-hand to deliver on our shared social equity goals, support the transition of legacy operators to the legal market, and turn the page on the ‘War on Drugs.’”

“For generations, communities of color across our city have experienced the compounding social and economic impacts of the ‘War on Drugs.’ The end of prohibition and the emerging New York cannabis industry opens avenues for change and prosperity,” said Mayor’s Office of Equity Commissioner, Sideya Sherman. “Getting started is the first step. With Cannabis NYC, New Yorkers now have a one-stop shop for navigating the licensing process, access to no-cost services, and ongoing support as the industry continues to evolve. We’re excited for this new chapter and what it means for those individuals and communities most harmed.”

“New York City Economic Development Corporation is proud to work with our city and state partners to create an equitable adult-use cannabis industry in New York,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Kimball.

“Cannabis NYC will help businesses and our local economies through job creation, while prioritizing investment in communities of color and supporting those who have been most adversely impacted by cannabis enforcement,” he added.

Tuesday’s announcement came ahead of the opening of the state’s first-ever cannabis retail dispensary license application later this week and advances a key plank of Adams’ economic recovery plan, which calls for a partnership with state and local leaders to build the nation’s most equitable cannabis industry.

“This administration is committed to putting equity at the center of the new legal cannabis market, which is why the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice is committed to working with our partners at SBS to educate New Yorkers along the public safety continuum on participating in the industry,” said Deanna Logan, director, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “We look forward to working in partnership with our sister agencies to remedy some of the negative impact of past cannabis policy.”

“The introduction of legal cannabis sales and consumption in New York brings in a new era of fairness and equity with welcomed economic and social opportunity for all,” said Ariel Palitz, executive director, Office of Nightlife at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

Adams said the first phase of Cannabis NYC will focus on ensuring that justice involved New Yorkers are able to apply for and secure retail licenses from the state.

As legal cannabis businesses open their doors in the coming years, the mayor said the initiative will expand to include a broad suite of business and technical support services tailored to the industry, as well as networking opportunities and efforts to establish Cannabis NYC as a global brand.

The city is also exploring how to best connect cannabis entrepreneurs who may struggle to access traditional business capital with financial support.

Adams said not only will Cannabis NYC boost the city’s economy and provide New Yorkers with new job opportunities, but it will also do so while addressing the harm done to Black and Brown communities during cannabis prohibition.

He said the expected size of New York City’s emerging regulated adult-use cannabis will be historic, with estimates of up to $1.3 billion in sales by 2023, and between 19,000-24,000 jobs created over the next three years. ‘

Over the next month, New York State’s Office of Cannabis Management will accept applications for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses to be distributed to qualifying businesses owned by justice-involved individuals or their parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or dependent.

CAURD licensees will be positioned to be the first legal cannabis retailers open in the state, setting an equitable foundation for the adult-use cannabis market from the outset.

To advance the state’s ambitious equity goals and help New Yorkers interested in applying for CAURD licenses, Cannabis NYC will provide: Application Support: Answer questions about CAURD application requirements, hold educational webinars, and work with license applicants to complete the application during the month-long application period from Aug. 25, 2022 – Sept. 26, 2022; support Beyond the License: Connect aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs to no-cost services, along with technical assistance, to support successful businesses; and provide Long-Term Industry Support: Expand programming as the industry grows to connect New Yorkers to good jobs and build strong businesses in the cannabis industry, as well as ancillary industries that do not “touch the plant.”

“I commend Mayor Adams for not just seeing the potential economic opportunities of the cannabis industry, but also making equity an important pillar of that industry’s growth in New York City,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.

“Although the disproportionate impacts of drug-related crimes we’ve experienced within our Black and Brown communities can’t be erased, Cannabis NYC will help to correct some of those generational wrongs. Whether it’s for a cannabis business or other industries, we should all be thinking of ways to bridge the inequities too many people in our communities face when starting a small business,” he added. “The only way to build bigger and more sustainable communities is to provide equal opportunities to all.”

“Once underground, the cannabis industry is coming into the light, and it is important that our borough take full advantage of the social and economic benefits to our communities,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson.

“The legalization of cannabis is an opportunity for us to undo the damage caused by years of disproportionate mass incarceration and prosecution of Black and Hispanic New Yorkers who have suffered under unfair drug laws and policies for years,” she added. “I want to thank Mayor Adams, New York City Small Business Services Commissioner Kim, and all of the advocates for prioritizing equity and justice with the creation of Cannabis NYC and I look forward to working with them in ensuring the Bronx is a part of this important initiative.”

“The blossoming cannabis industry offers significant socioeconomic potential for Queens and for New York City,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr., who traces his roots to Jamaica. “That is why my office has been active when it comes to cannabis-related outreach, and I look forward to working with all our partners to ensure the mission of the Cannabis NYC program is realized.

“It is critical that we build an industry rooted in fairness that prioritizes communities that have long felt the sting of inequitable marijuana enforcement,” he added. “With these steps announced today, I’m confident our city is taking seriously the importance of doing just that.”



SOURCE: Caribbean life

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