NY to Give First Dibs on Cannabis Retail Licenses to People Convicted of Weed-related Crimes

cannabis retail
Getty Images

New York will allow recreational cannabis retailers to open by the end of this year, prioritizing people convicted of offenses related to the once-illegal drug or their family for the first licenses to hawk pot.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is set to announce her plans Thursday for the rollout of adult-use marijuana dispensaries, the New York Times reported, and the state’s Office of Cannabis Management told the Gray Lady that the first 100 licenses will go to people convicted of weed-related crimes before the drug was legalized, or their relatives.

OCM, the agency in charge of regulating medical and recreational marijuana, posted its new regulations online and the office will be hosting a virtual press conference at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, according to spokesperson Freeman Klopott, who confirmed the paper’s reporting.

Hochul announced last month that New York hemp farmers will be able to start growing the devil’s lettuce this spring under a new licensing program the governor approved on Feb. 22.

New York legalized adult-use weed in March 2021 with the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, and politicians and advocates have pushed for the Empire State to give priority to those affected by the damages wrought by the war on drugs.

Hochul in her State of the State address revealed a proposed $200 million fund to support businesses set up shop if they’re run by people affected by the prohibition of the drug.

This story first appeared on amNY.com.

Related Story: Hochul Green-lights Licensing Program for Growing Weed in NY

Related Story: Most Long Island Towns, Villages Opt Out of Allowing Legal Weed Sales

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.