A community disproportionately impacted (CDI) is a history of arrests, convictions, and other law enforcement practices in a certain geographic area, including, but not limited to, precincts, zip codes, neighborhoods, and political subdivisions, reflecting disparate enforcement of cannabis prohibition during a specific time period relative to the rest of the state. N.Y. CANBS § 87(5)(g)
The enforcement of cannabis prohibition has had devastating effects on numerous communities, which continue to endure the collateral consequences of the state’s legacy of harsh drug laws. Decades of excessive policing and systemic arrest and incarceration rates have disproportionately harmed the economic, social, psychological, and financial well-being of these communities and their families.
The Office of Cannabis Management (the Office) analyzed population and the number of arrests within census tracts over a period of time to identify CDIs. Utilizing data from decennial census surveys and data provided by the Division of Criminal Justice Services on the residential address of all individuals arrested in New York State from 1980 through 2021, the Office was able to determine the arrest rates for the state as a whole and local census tracts. Where the local arrest rate substantially exceeded the state’s arrest rate, the Office designated the area as a CDI.
The CDI census tracts demonstrate that approximately one quarter of New York State's population experienced three quarters of the arrests over the last four decades.
Applicants for an adult-use license seeking to qualify as an individual from a CDI must take the following steps:
1. Look up your address. Determine whether the individual(s) applicant lived at an address in a CDI using the interactive map during the following time periods:
a. 1980 - 1985
b. 1986 - 1995
c. 1996 - 2005
d. 2006 - 2015
e. 2016 - 2021
2. Count the years. Applicants seeking to qualify as an individual from a CDI are required to submit the following:
- Proof of ownership and sole control by one or more individuals from a CDI who have an ownership interest in the business; and
- Proof of residence documentation demonstrating that you lived in a CDI as defined by the census tract, for at least:
- Five years when you were below the age of 18,
- Seven years throughout your life
If you submit proof of address dated the first year and then proof of the same address dated the fifth year or the seventh year, then the Office will assume you lived in that same location for the years in between and no additional proof beyond those two documents is needed. However, if your address is different between the first and the last year, then you must submit at least one dated document for each of the five or seven years you lived in a CDI.
Applicants can meet the aggregate seven-year requirement with years the applicant resided in a CDI below the age of 18.
The five or seven years can be non-consecutive.
3. Gather your documents. Some examples of proof of residence documentation are:
- Education Records
- Mortgage or Lease Documents
- Property Deeds
- Government Housing or Assistance Records
- Utility bills
- Employment Records
- Government issued ID with address on it
- DMV address history/lifetime abstract
- Vehicle Registrations
- State, Federal and Local Tax returns
For more information on proof of residence documentation, you can visit How to Prove Address to Qualify as a Member of a Community Disproportionately Impacted.