New York Cannabis Chief Reiterates Social Equity Focus in Speech at Cannabis Trade Show

Tremaine Wright delivered her first public speech since being appointed Chair of the New York State Cannabis Control Board at the CWCBExpo (Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition) at the Javits Center on November 4.  Wright leads the five-member board charged with approving a regulatory framework for New York’s cannabis industry and will oversee licensing of cannabis businesses.  In her remarks before 400 people at the business-to-business cannabis industry trade show, Wright reiterated that New York will support social equity licenses for people from communities historically affected by the War on Drugs.  “We’re about to create the most equitable cannabis program in the country,” she said.  Wright also said that New York will prevent social equity licenses from being sold to large companies by requiring that they be sold to other social equity licensees.  However, the regulations are currently being written and there are few details about how the state will help social equity applicants raise capital to start cannabis businesses.  Wright also said that all license applicants will be required to share their ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) frameworks to operate in the state.  The Board has a goal of issuing licenses within 18 months.  Members of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management were also in attendance at the Expo.

California’s Online Licensing System is Now Active

Justin Santarosa

California took the next big step in establishing its legal cannabis market. It officially launched its online licensing system and is now accepting applications for commercial cannabis licenses for retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, testing laboratories and cannabis events.  The online system can be used by applicants to easily apply for a temporary and annual commercial cannabis license, submit payments and track the status of an existing application.

All business owners applying for a medical and/or adult use cannabis business license must be registered and have an active account on the licensing system. In addition, those individuals or companies that are considered “owners” of the applicant business  will need to register as well in order to submit the necessary information that is required to be disclosed by each “owner.”

The link to the online licensing system can be accessed here:

Cultivators must apply for a cultivation license with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing program. CalCannabis expects to launch its online application process  later this month. The California Department of Public Health is currently accepting paper applications by mail or email for manufacturing licenses.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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