“The perception was that they were getting handed free money by the state—that they’re being subsidized. But the reality was, that’s not the case, because the state basically couldn’t raise any money.”
By Rosalind Adams, THE CITY
This story was originally published by THE CITY. Sign up to get the latest New York City news delivered to you each morning.
In January 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) outlined a bold vision to support the ambitious social-equity goals of New York’s new cannabis law: The state would create a $200 million fund to build out ready-to-open dispensaries in prime locations for retail licensees with past cannabis-related convictions. This, lawmakers and regulators agreed, was a chance for those who had been most harmed by decades of racist drug policies to not only participate in the legal market but to thrive from it.
Reuben McDaniel, who headed the state Dormitory Authority in charge of setting up fund-supported dispensaries before leaving that position last month, proclaimed that the new program would “help build generational wealth that has been out of reach for far too many of our citizens, and that will succeed in creating social equity when so many other states’ programs have failed.”