New $4.8 Million Investment in Executive Budget Will Help Support Community Outreach and Technical Assistance for Businesses
Multiagency Effort Will Prioritize Most Impacted Neighborhoods, Placing Equity at Center of Industry
New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced major new steps to welcome the cannabis industry to New York City, with an emphasis on promoting equity. Mayor Adams is proposing a $4.8 million investment in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) executive budget to promote the growth of the industry, which will fund a multiagency community outreach effort, as well as technical assistance for businesses navigating the licensing process. The new investments — which will focus on the communities most impacted by the ‘war on drugs’ — come as the city prepares for an influx of new licensed dispensaries and other businesses.
“The cannabis industry could be a major boon to our economic recovery — creating new jobs, building wealth in historically underserved communities, and increasing state and local tax revenue,” said Mayor Adams. “With a new regulated adult-use cannabis market on the immediate horizon, now is the time for our city to make proactive investments to ensure the people disproportionately impacted by the criminalization of these substances can reap the benefits of the new industry.”
The new investments deliver on a plank of Mayor Adams’ “Renew, Rebuild, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery,” which calls for a partnership with state and local leaders to build the nation’s most equitable cannabis industry. The adult-use cannabis industry is expected to generate nearly $1.3 billion in sales in its first year and support between 19,000 and 24,000 jobs within three years. This presents a major opportunity to jumpstart New York City’s economic recovery, while addressing some of the longstanding inequities exacerbated during the pandemic.
The multiagency effort will include targeted outreach and resources from the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ). In the coming months, these agencies will work in partnership to begin identifying stakeholders in impacted communities, launching a public education tour to educate people about the new process, promoting an educational media campaign, and assessing the needs of interested parties so they can better tailor their services and programs to assist those interested in participating in the industry. Additionally, EDC is prepared to offer assistance to entrepreneurs seeking to access the financing and real estate required to start and grow their businesses.
“We have a real opportunity to develop a thriving and truly equitable cannabis industry in the five boroughs,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “As we work in close partnership with our city and state partners to design programming and policy, we will make sure that qualifying entrepreneurs interested in entering this industry have the supports and technical assistance they need to navigate the licensing process and launch successful businesses.”
New York state officially legalized the sale and consumption of adult-use cannabis in March 2021 through the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). After the passage of the law, Governor Kathy Hochul created the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and appointed members to the Cannabis Control Board (CCB), both of which oversee the promulgation of regulations relating to the cannabis industry, and the issuance of licenses for those looking to participate in the industry. Recognizing the disproportionate harm the criminalization of cannabis has inflicted on Black and Brown communities, the MRTA has set a goal of awarding half of all licenses to social and economic equity applicants.
“This investment delivers critical resources that will allow SBS to reach communities disproportionately impacted by the criminalization of cannabis, and provide New Yorkers with the tools, education, and support needed to meaningfully participate in this industry,” said New York City Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “Ensuring small businesses are at the center of the regulated cannabis industry will fuel our city’s recovery and advance economic equity.”
“Mayor Adams is committed to ensuring that communities and individuals most negatively impacted by criminalization can now benefit from the entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs of the newly legal cannabis industry,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “As we learn from the experiences of other states, NYCEDC and our partners across New York City will work together to ensure equitable access to necessary financing and real estate for these pioneering entrepreneurs.”
“New York City has long been at the forefront of cannabis reform. This investment by the administration is expanding access to economic opportunities for small businesses while promoting equity and addressing the negative impacts of previous cannabis enforcement,” said Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Deanna Logan. “We look forward to working with our partners across the city to ensure that the individuals who have disproportionately experienced the negative impact of cannabis criminalization have the resources and support they need to participate in the new industry.”
“New York City is putting economic justice front and center with these first wave investments in equitable cannabis business development and outreach programming,” said Lindsay Greene, president and CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation; and member, 2018 New York City Task Force on Cannabis Legalization. “These strategic investments are maximizing the chances we can learn from other mistakes and channel the expected wealth from cannabis into communities previously criminalized and those most in need of economic opportunities.”
“Building out New York’s cannabis industry is a team effort, and it’s wonderful to have New York City Mayor Eric Adams on board with our efforts to center social equity and job creation,” said Tremaine Wright, chair, Cannabis Control Board. “Governor Kathy Hochul has provided the full support of the state government to help us create this industry. Municipal governments will be integral partners as we get this industry off and running, and it’s great to see this investment coming from the largest municipal government in the state.”
“We are working to build the most robust, equitable and thoughtful cannabis industry in the nation, and we deeply appreciate the support of this administration as we do so,” said Chris Alexander, executive director, Office of Cannabis Management. “New York City has been a cultural capital for cannabis for decades, Governor Kathy Hochul has been a champion at the state level, and I appreciate Mayor Adams’ championing us at the city level by establishing multi-agency efforts to make sure New York City also becomes the business capital for cannabis too.”
We do not understand this push for legalized Marijuana, yes Cannabis is nothing but a different name for Marijuana, which is a cigarette that the government has tried to ban.
Smoking was proven to be bad, and cost people lives through disease from smoking and second hand smoke. So what does the state legislature do? They push smoking Marijuana for the tax money on it.