Social Equity Impact Ventures, LLC, a minority-led investment team, will sponsor and manage the New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund.
The Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund, which was authorized as part of the 2022-2023 budget by Governor Hochul and the State Legislature, is a public-private limited partnership that will be formed to position social equity entrepreneurs to succeed in New York’s newly created adult use cannabis industry.
It will allow the state to invest in a private fund to finance the leasing and equipping of up to 150 conditional adult-use retail dispensaries in New York State to be operated by individuals who have been impacted by the inequitable enforcement of marijuana laws.
The Fund will help those who have a Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary License (CAURD) meet the costs of establishing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries, including the identification and leasing of suitable retail locations and design, construction, and fit-out of the spaces. It is supported by up to $50 million in licensing fees and revenue from the adult-use cannabis industry and up to $150 million from the private sector that will be raised by the fund manager.
A second award for design and construction services to renovate existing spaces for adult-use retail cannabis dispensary facilities is expected to be announced in July.
Hochul also announced the appointment of new members to New York’s Cannabis Advisory Board.
The Cannabis Advisory Board will assist in creating the social and economic equity plan and will support the Cannabis Control Board in the development of regulations for the broader program. The Board’s primary purpose, however, is to oversee the disbursement of the New York State Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, a separate fund that will support communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. This locally focused programming will include job training and placement, reentry services for justice-involved New Yorkers, system navigation services, youth-serving programs, financial literacy services and much more. The Fund will also be utilized to support the State’s equity goals on an ongoing basis.
Under the Cannabis Law, funds raised through taxes on cannabis products and from licensing fees are to be directed back to communities across New York with:
– 40% of those funds going to the New York State Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, which will be disbursed by the Cannabis Advisory Board.
– 40% will go directly to school districts in municipalities that did not opt-out of cannabis sales; and
– 20% will be targeted for drug treatment programs.