Apr 24, 2024

Unfulfilled Promise of Cannabis Equity: Zero Budget for Prohibition-Impacted Individuals

Unfulfilled Promise of Cannabis Equity: Zero Budget for Prohibition-Impacted Individuals

Cannabis Social Equity Coalition – NYS

With Zero Funding in the Budget for Individuals Disproportionately Impacted by

Marijuana Prohibition, the Promise of Cannabis Equity Remains Unfulfilled. We

Encourage Our Supporters to Continue to Stay True to the Restorative Justice

Goal and Intent of the Marijuana Legislation

Once again, state legislators neglected to allocate any money in the budget to support

individuals adversely impacted by marijuana prohibition in their efforts to participate in the

regulated cannabis market. As organizations who represent such individuals, we see first-

hand the considerable barriers to financing, real estate and expert knowledge/capacity

building technical assistance facing these individuals. Eliminating or at minimum

mitigating the effect of these barriers is essential for their success and sustainability in

the cannabis market.

In addition, the shift to the “full license” phase of the rollout of the Marijuana Regulation

and Taxation Act (MRTA) opened New York’s cannabis market to highly experienced and

well-funded Registered Organizations (ROs) and Multi-State Operators (MSOs) from

every corner of the country, creating an unequal playing field. Eliminating barriers to

financing, real estate and capacity building technical assistance experienced by adversely

impacted individuals will, to some degree, level the playing field. However, each day the

funding needed to effectively respond to these barriers is delayed brings these individuals

closer to failure and the State closer to defaulting on its promise to redress the harm done

to individuals disproportionately impacted.

Throughout the remainder of this year’s legislative session, we will continue to encourage

elected officials to stay true to the restorative justice goals and intent of the MRTA and

hope that we can continue to count on your support.

We would like to thank State Senator Cooney, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-

Stokes, State Senator Cordell Cleare, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Al

Stirpe, Assemblyman Harvey Epstein and Assemblywomen Stefani Zinerman for

supporting our request to place funds in this year’s budget for individuals

disproportionately impacted by the unequal and discriminatory enforcement of the

marijuana drug laws.


Mika’il DeVeaux, Ph.D., Chairman, Cannabis Social Equity Coalition – NYS

Charles King, CEO, Housing Works

Eli Northrup, Director of The Bronx Cannabis Hub at The Bronx Defenders

Kavita Pawria-Sanchez, CEO of CannaBronx


Simbiat Akiolu
(934) 799-0190

Our Mission

Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.

Donate Now