ALBANY- Governor Kathy Hochul of New York has announced her administration’s intention to establish a $200 million public-private fund to promote social equity applications in the state’s legal cannabis business, which is expected to be worth $4.2 billion dollars in the coming years.
With New York ready to issue licenses for retailers to sell cannabis to adults 21 and up, Hochul said in her State of the State address on Wednesday that the “sector must generate opportunity for all New Yorkers, particularly those from historically excluded groups.”
According to Hochul, the $200 million public-private fund will “assist social equity applicants as they prepare for and build up their firms.”
Licensing fees and tax revenue will seed the fund, along with private investment, to fund direct capital and startup financing to social equity applicants.
The state is also creating a state-run business incubator which will provide business support to equity applicants.
Ms. Tremaine Wright, who leads the New York State Cannabis Control Board, said at last years CWCBExpo that the adult-use legislation enacted last year sets a goal of awarding 50% of all licenses to social equity applicants in efforts to build a diverse industry and include communities and individuals impacted by the war on drugs.
The equity applicants include individuals from impacted communities, minority- and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers, justice-involved individuals and service-disabled veterans.
Read Ms. Hochul’s state of the state address here.
Main image: NY Governor’s Mansion