New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim today announced the launch of Cannabis NYC, a first-of-its-kind initiative and suite of services to support the equitable growth of the cannabis industry in New York City – a key pillar of Mayor Adams’ Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery. Housed at SBS, Cannabis NYC will support cannabis entrepreneurs and their workers as the industry develops. The initiative will work with industry stakeholders to create good jobs, successful small businesses, and sustainable economic opportunities, while also addressing the harms of cannabis prohibition. Cannabis NYC services will also include the city’s first-ever technical assistance for cannabis license applicants, as well as other business services to take entrepreneurs beyond licensing to a thriving operation.
“Today, we light up our economy and launch Cannabis NYC – a first-of-its-kind initiative to support equitable growth of the cannabis industry in New York City,” said mayor Adams. “The regulated adult-use cannabis industry is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our underserved communities that have, for too long, faced disproportionate rates of drug-related incarceration to get in on the industry on the ground floor. Cannabis NYC will plant the seeds for the economy of tomorrow by helping New Yorkers apply for licenses and understand how to open and successfully run a business, while simultaneously rolling equity into our economy by giving those who have been justice-involved and those with a cannabis conviction a chance to succeed. This is about creating good jobs, successful small businesses, and finally delivering equity to communities harmed by the ‘War on Drugs.’”
“Whether you’re interested in opening up a cannabis dispensary or in the many other business and employment opportunities that will soon be available, Cannabis NYC is ready to help you get to work,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “With a meaningful focus on equity, Cannabis NYC will help push our city toward a robust economic recovery with new and high-paying jobs and hundreds of millions in revenue to be reinvested in those communities most harmed by the ‘War on Drugs’ and the current pandemic.”
“Cannabis NYC is ready to help New Yorkers succeed in this budding industry,” said SBS Commissioner Kim. “New York City and state will work hand-in-hand to deliver on our shared social equity goals, support the transition of legacy operators to the legal market, and turn the page on the ‘War on Drugs.’”
“For generations, communities of color across our city have experienced the compounding social and economic impacts of the ‘War on Drugs.’ The end of prohibition and the emerging New York cannabis industry opens avenues for change and prosperity,” said Mayor’s Office of Equity Commissioner Sideya Sherman. “Getting started is the first step. With Cannabis NYC, New Yorkers now have a one-stop shop for navigating the licensing process, access to no-cost services, and ongoing support as the industry continues to evolve. We’re excited for this new chapter and what it means for those individuals and communities most harmed.”
“New York City Economic Development Corporation is proud to work with our city and state partners to create an equitable adult-use cannabis industry in New York,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “Cannabis NYC will help businesses and our local economies through job creation while prioritizing investment in communities of color and supporting those who have been most adversely impacted by cannabis enforcement.”
Today’s announcement comes ahead of the opening of the state’s first-ever cannabis retail dispensary license application later this week and advances a key plank of Mayor Adams’ economic recovery plan, which calls for a partnership with state and local leaders to build the nation’s most equitable cannabis industry.”
“This administration is committed to putting equity at the center of the new legal cannabis market, which is why the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice is committed to working with our partners at SBS to educate New Yorkers along the public safety continuum on participating in the industry,” said Deanna Logan, director, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “We look forward to working in partnership with our sister agencies to remedy some of the negative impacts of past cannabis policy.”
“The introduction of legal cannabis sales and consumption in New York brings in a new era of fairness and equity with welcomed economic and social opportunity for all,” said Ariel Palitz, executive director, Office of Nightlife at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
The first phase of Cannabis NYC will focus on ensuring that justice-involved New Yorkers are able to apply for and secure retail licenses from the state. As legal cannabis businesses open their doors in the coming years, the initiative will expand to include a broad suite of business and technical support services tailored to the industry, as well as networking opportunities and efforts to establish Cannabis NYC as a global brand. The city is also exploring how to best connect cannabis entrepreneurs who may struggle to access traditional business capital with financial support.
Not only will Cannabis NYC boost the city’s economy and provide New Yorkers with new job opportunities, but it will also do so while addressing the harm done to Black and Brown communities during cannabis prohibition. The expected size of New York City’s emerging regulated adult-use cannabis will be historic, with estimates of up to $1.3 billion in sales by 2023, and between 19,000-24,000 jobs created over the next three years.
Over the next month, New York State’s Office of Cannabis Management will accept applications for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses to be distributed to qualifying businesses owned by justice-involved individuals or their parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or dependent. CARD licensees will be positioned to be the first legal cannabis retailers open in the state, setting an equitable foundation for the adult-use cannabis market from the outset.