In an effort to support New York’s ambitious social equity goals for its recreational marijuana industry, the state’s new governor is planning a $200 million public-private fund.

The adult-use legislation enacted in 2021 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.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has attempted to address the concerns of many marijuana advocates with a plan articulated in her 237-page State of the State book released this week.

The $200 million fund, according to page 207 of the document, will support social equity applicants as they “plan for and build out their businesses.”

“Licensing fees and tax revenue will seed the fund and leverage significant private investment,” the document reads.

“While New York has committed to making its cannabis industry more equitable, this action will put that commitment into practice.”

In addition, New York will create a state-run business incubator to further support equity applicants, according to the document.

New York’s social equity program is geared toward individuals from impacted communities, minority- and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers and disabled military veterans.

According to predictions from MJBizDaily, the recreational marijuana industry in New York will generate nearly $2.5 billion in annual sales by the fifth year of the program.


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