On March 31, 2021, New York State legalized adult-use cannabis by passing the Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA). The legislation established a robust social and economic equity (SEE) program to incentivize participation in this new industry for individuals disproportionally impacted by cannabis prohibition through the implementation of the SEE Plan. The Cannabis Law automatically expunges past marijuana convictions and mandates the investment of 40% of all adult-use cannabis tax revenue toward rebuilding communities harmed by the War on Drugs.
The Cannabis Law establishes a goal of awarding fifty percent (50%) of all adult-use licenses to distinct SEE groups including:
a minority-owned business
a women-owned business
Qualifying for SEE
To qualify for SEE status, sole control of the applicant must be held by an individual or individuals from a community disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition, a minority-owned business, a women-owned business, distressed farmers, or a service-disabled veterans. The person or persons having sole control must match the SEE group the applicant wishes to be qualified as. Please see the applicant overview for further details.
Extra priority shall be given to applications that demonstrate that an applicant meets ALL of the following:
Is a member of a community disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition;
Has an income lower than eighty percent (80%) of the median income of the county in which the applicant resides; and
Was convicted of a cannabis-related offense prior to the effective date of the MRTA, or had a parent, guardian, child, spouse, or dependent, or was a dependent of an individual who, prior to March 31, 2021, was convicted of a cannabis-related offense.
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 Cannabis Hub and Incubation Program (CHIP) is an OCM initiative aimed at continuing to advance Social and Economic Equity in the New York cannabis industry. CHIP encompasses a range of initiatives designed to support Social and Economic Equity (SEE) individuals from their pursuit of various license types to maintaining operational compliance and ongoing growth in the industry.
Currently CHIP includes:
Application Technical Assistance Program
The Office has identified an urgent need for Social and Economic Equity (SEE) Applicants to receive technical assistance in completing the highly technical, document-intensive application process. To facilitate this support, the SEE team has strategically collaborated with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), municipalities, academic institutions, and key community stakeholders, bringing together over 75 Technical Assistance Providers (TAPs) dedicated to streamlining the application process for social and economic equity applicants.
If you or organization like to provide volunteer services to SEE applicants as a Technical Assistance Provider, please email [email protected] for more information on joining OCM’s TAP network.
OCM Academy is an educational and training initiative supporting Adult Use Conditional Cultivators (AUCCs) and Adult Use Conditional Processors (AUCPs) in transitioning to other license types. This program spotlights technical issues such as GMP certification, distressed farmer certification, minimal processing, and microbusiness transition.
OCM Academy will continue to evolve in early 2024, providing ongoing support to AUCC’s, AUCP’s, and SEE individuals across the state. Sessions will include modules for cultivation, processing, retail and distribution license tracks. For AUCCs, AUCPs, and SEE individuals looking to learn more information about OCM academy please email [email protected].
Please continue to monitor this website for ongoing updates regarding the CHIP.