After a Year of Planning, New York Adult-Use Sales Expected by Year-End

After a Year of Planning, New York Adult-Use Sales Expected by Year-End

<![CDATA[Regulators, lawmakers and industry members have spent the past year laying the groundwork for an adult-use cannabis industry that was legalized in March of last year. In that time, they’ve built a unique plan that attempts to prioritize equity by offering additional opportunities to those disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs; minority, women and small business owners; and hemp growers.But despite their efforts, the state has yet to begin retail sales, as regulators had planned do by the end of this year. With just days left in 2022, is a launch by the year’s end still attainable? Now that all the regulatory pieces are in place along the supply chain, some operators are still holding on to hope. Housing Works, a nonprofit organization that operates other businesses, recently announced its plans to open its dispensary doors by Dec. 29, kicking off sales that have been nearly two years in the making.New York has tried to position its adult-use program as “a model for the rest of the nation,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul in October. Regulators and lawmakers have hefty goals for the program–and in a state expected to do $1 billion in legal cannabis sales “relatively quickly,” according to Cannabis NYC Director Dasheeda Dawson, all eyes are sure to be on New York when adult-use sales do commence. Eyeing EquityA major focus of the regulations laid out this year has revolved around social equity. Hochul kicked off 2022 with a dedication of $200 million for a Social Equity Cannabis Investment Program to help develop conditional adult-use cannabis dispensaries for social equity licensees. The fund is a key component of the state’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative—an effort to promote social equity by allowing individuals with prior cannabis-related convictions to make the first adult-use cannabis sales in New York. (That wasn’t the…

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