New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a cannabis industry fueled by small businesses if legalization efforts in the state succeed. Speaking before a Brooklyn audience last week, the mayor said that in addition to the health and safety issues involved with legal pot, he is concerned about the potential influence of big business on New Yorkers and the emerging market.
“My goal is that we avoid the corporatization of the marijuana industry,” de Blasio said.
Referring to two state legislators in the crowd, the mayor said that they and other lawmakers could create a legal cannabis industry built on small operators.
“We have a chance and these two folks and their colleagues have in their hands a chance, to do something that’s never been done before, to literally exclude corporate America and make sure this is a small business community-based industry,” de Blasio said.
He also said that a legalization plan should include social equity provisions to ensure that “the opportunity first and foremost goes to communities that are victimized and individuals who are victimized, right down to people having an opportunity to start businesses and get jobs who served time who should have never served