Only people previously convicted of marijuana crimes will get the first coveted dispensary licenses in the state. The Office of Cannabis Management, which relates all things dealing with the drug in New York, issued a draft of its proposed regulations. Initially, dispensary licenses around the state will be given to people who have been convicted of previous marijuana crimes. This seems to be New York's way of providing justice to those who have paid the price of cannabis' former classification as illegal.

On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, the office released documents stating that residents with past convictions or their family members would receive first dibs. Applicants must show that they have successfully run a business. Non-profit organizations will also be eligible if they serve people with past marijuana convictions.

Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance said,

What New York is doing is actually giving people with criminal justice histories first-mover advantage. The people that have fought for this change have been the people in New York that have been criminalized by the law, who have had their communities surveilled and punished.

There is will also be a $200 million fund available to help them start their dispensary business. This will allow those who have been previously convicted of marijuana infractions access to capital to create successful businesses.

In addition to issuing proposed dispensary license regulations, the Office of Cannabis Management will soon start accepting applications to grow marijuana for adult use in the state. Cultivators may apply for cultivator licenses from March 15 through June 30.

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