“Licensed sellers simply cannot compete with unregulated—presumably less expensive—cannabis retailers, and our communities cannot miss out on much-needed revenues intended to fund substance use education, prevention, and treatment initiatives.”
Housing Works and the Doe Fund are breaking into the cannabis industry and pioneering new terrain for nonprofit organizations post-pot prohibition. But the two organizations have different business models as well as divergent approaches to substance use when it comes to their own clients.
“For these licenses to serve their purpose, individuals who were targeted for arrest and prosecution must be first in line and have access to non-predatory resources and legal support to help them build the generational wealth long denied by the War on Drugs.”
‘In other states that have established a legal marijuana market, large corporations with significant capital make up the bulk of the market share while BIPOC communities have seen little, if any, economic benefit from legalization. New York can create a more racially and economically equitable path.’
‘Across the state, 1 in 7 people – 2.3 million New Yorkers – have criminal records. They are denied jobs, housing, education, life insurance, loans, child custody, licensure and more. The lifelong barriers they face perpetuate poverty and racial inequality.’
Advocates are cheered by a provision of the newly-passed MRTA law, which will establish a process for immigrant New Yorkers to vacate past marijuana convictions in court, to ensure past offenses don’t jeopardize their status.
‘Removing another reason for law enforcement to subject law-abiding citizens to a search and seizure is an important step to realizing that marijuana justice.’
“While Cuomo’s plan acknowledges the social equity imperative of legalization, it allocates only $100 million in tax grants to communities most harmed. That’s a step – but it’s not enough.”