Mr. Alexander also said his office would evaluate applicants on their business plans and experience in retail.
The resulting dispensaries will be the first to open in the state by the end of the year, Mr. Alexander said, though some others may open shortly after, perhaps in early 2023. The state has not set a limit on the number of retail licenses it plans to issue; state officials said it will depend on market demand.
The proposed regulations were published on Wednesday afternoon on the cannabis management office’s website; the state’s Cannabis Control Board is expected to meet on Thursday to consider them, with approval anticipated.
The first wave of applicants will likely include people like Baron Fajardo, a Harlem resident who plans to apply for a retail license. He was 16 when the police found him smoking marijuana in his hallway and arrested him. A half dozen other pot arrests followed as he moved from smoker to dealer.
He said it was a blessing that New York was planning to give people like him the chance to build on their experiences in a legal way that would allow them to provide for their families and start to build generational wealth.
“As a person you feel down, a little bit defeated, like ‘Oh, I got a stain on my name,’” said Mr. Fajardo, now 34. “Now, that stain is actually the same thing that can help you.”
Mr. Alexander said that he thought giving so-called “equity entrepreneurs” a chance to woo customers before more established cannabis companies — including those currently running medical marijuana facilities — begin to compete with them would help them succeed.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Jesse McKinley and Grace Ashford on New York Times
Published: March 09, 2022