NY seeks to bolster marijuana supply ahead of retail sales with eye toward equity

New York is opening the pathway for existing hemp farmers to grow cannabis this spring, in a move toward bolstering marijuana supply and equity.

On Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation to create new conditional cannabis processor and cultivation licenses, which will allow groups to grow marijuana or help prepare cannabis products until June 2023. After that, they can apply for a permanent license such as those for distribution or processing.

“This legislation is an important step in ensuring an adequate supply of cannabis for the adult-use market while prioritizing New York farmers, supporting social and economic equity mentorship programs” and “encouraging environmentally sustainable agricultural practices,” Sen. Liz Krueger, a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement from the governor’s office.

Who would get the licenses?

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, the state law legalizing adult use of cannabis, sets the goal to give 50% of licenses to social equity applicants such as women and people impacted by the war on drugs.

To get the conditional adult-use cultivation cannabis license, farmers must be part of a social equity mentorship program, where they will provide training in cannabis cultivation and processing for social and economic equity partners, the statement read. [Read more at lohud.com]

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