New York Rehabilitates Weed Dealers

Stephen Andrews
27 Jun 2022

Convicted weed sellers are going legit in New York! The state Dormitory Authority of New York will set $200 million in public funds to rent out locations where ex-cons can open shops and sell weed. Such a measure would be in line with New York's cannabis policy that dictates past marijuana offenders be awarded the first batch of licenses to sell legal weed.

New York's Dormitory Authority is reaching out to help cannabis dealers who've suffered under past marijuana laws. The authority has begun to solicit bids from real estate experts to help identify the best places in town where to set up cannabis shops, according to New York Post

Once locations are settled, the authority will finance start-up costs of construction and prepare the sites for business through loans to the incoming cannabis entrepreneurs. 

The program is designed to provide an opportunity for past convicts or those negatively affected during the war on drugs. Once granted a license, anyone under the program can move to the location set up by the authority. 

Last week the Dormitory Authority also announced that it hired two minority investment firms to help facilitate raising money for the $200 million social equity investment fund. 

New York's Cannabis Social Equity Investment Fund is envisioned as a vital tool in setting up a fair marketplace with equal opportunities for all licensees. The fund targets disadvantaged entrepreneurs, enabling them a competitive start in the business as everyone else.

"New York takes an important step forward in creating jobs and opportunity for those who, historically, have been disproportionately targeted for cannabis infractions," Gov. Kathy Hochul commented on this development.

"As we create a new industry in New York, I am proud to see real progress in addressing the economic needs of our future entrepreneurs," she said. 

Hochul also announced the appointment of a 20-member cannabis advisory board that will serve with the Office of Cannabis Management to help facilitate the new cannabis sector. 

New York approved cannabis for recreational use in March 2021. The first retail licenses are expected to be granted by the fall, and the first weed shops to open by the end of 2022. Authorities have already granted licenses to farmers to cultivate cannabis for legal sale. 

Stringent Packaging Rules Proposed

Earlier this month, New York's state officials also released packaging and safety instructions or rather restrictions on how manufacturers should design and market legal cannabis goods. 

The New York's Cannabis Control Board has proposed rules that center on child-resistant packaging and labeling, forbidding the use of neon colors, bubble fonts, cartoons, or any mention of the word candy whatsoever. Seen by many industrialists as rigid, the packaging cannot feature any pictures or graphics besides the brand logo and mandated labeling. References to cereal or soda are also not allowed.

Still, child-proofing restrictions are common in legal states. The practice aims to protect and avoid mistakes made when Colorado launched legal sales and which resulted in numerous incidents as color-packed weed candies ended up in children's hands and led to hospitalizations. 

The packaging rules proposal is currently under a 60-day public comment period, ending mid-August. Comments can be submitted to

Stephen Andrews