The New York Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would provide provisional marijuana cultivator and processor licenses to existing hemp businesses that take specific steps to promote equity in the emerging industry, Marijuana Moment reported.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Michelle Hinchey (D) and approved in a 50-13 vote, seeks to both speed up the process of starting New York’s adult-use market, and support efforts to reach equity goals with respect to cannabis business participation.
“I’m proud to sponsor legislation to help them obtain conditional licenses, which will allow New York to implement its cannabis program faster,” Senator Hinchey said. “Our existing hemp growers, who have been some of the hardest hit by market fluctuations, already have the knowledge base to meet this need, and I’m proud to sponsor legislation to help them obtain conditional licenses, which will allow New York to implement its cannabis program faster.”
Hinchey pointed out that New York state’s cannabis program aims to create an industry predicated on social equity, inclusion and one that ensures local economic success. “To achieve these goals and create a truly circular economy, we need New York farmers to begin the growing process now so that when cannabis dispensaries open, we can fill shelves with quality New York-grown products.”
The Assembly is taking up an identical companion measure on Wednesday, which could result in legislation being sent to the governor’s desk. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D) is sponsoring the chamber’s version of the licensing bill.
While regulators are still finalizing licensing rules, and with no retailers yet authorized to sell recreational marijuana, adults 21 and older can legally possess and publicly consume cannabis and gift it to other adults, without compensation.