Social Equity

Social Equity Definition / Criteria

  • i. Previous Cannabis Conviction:
  • ii. Income:
  • iii. State Residency:
  • iv. Qualifying Neighborhood / Municipal Residency:

New York’s Social and Economic Equity program applicants include  

  1. Individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition.
  2. Minority-Owned Businesses
  3. Women-Owned Businesses
  4. Minority and Women-Owned Businesses
  5. Distressed Farmers (requires NY residency) 
  6. Service-Disabled Veterans

 Extra priority shall be given to applications that demonstrate that an applicant: 

  • Is a member of a community disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition; 
  • Has an income lower than eighty percent of the median income of the county in which the applicant resides; and 
  • Was convicted of a cannabis-related offense prior to the effective date of this chapter, or had a parent, guardian, child, spouse, or dependent, or was a dependent of an individual who, prior to the effective date of this chapter, was convicted of a cannabis-related offense.

Social Equity Provisions

In New York 50% of adult use licenses will be awarded to social and economic equity applicants. “Extra” priority will be  given to social equity applicants who have a qualifying income, qualifying cannabis conviction and who is a member of a community disportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition. 

New York’s social and economic equity program will offer a low and no interest loan program. New York will also provide an Incubator Program, which will encourage Equity Applicants to apply for a license and, if licensed, will provide direct support in the form of counseling services, education, small business coaching, and compliance assistance.

License Priorities and Set Asides

  • License Priorities / Set Asides:

New York will grant at least 50% of available microbusiness, delivery and nursery licenses to minorities and disenfranchised groups such as women-owned businesses, directly impacted community members, disadvantaged farmers and service-disabled veterans. Social and economic equity applicants are given priority for delivery licenses.

Fee Waivers and Reductions

  • Fee Waivers / Reductions:

New York will waive or reduce fees for social and economic equity participants. However, the regulations have not yet been established.

Other Financial Support for Social Equity Applicants and Licensees

New York intends to create a $200 million public-private fund to support social equity applicants build out their business. Licensing fees and tax revenue will seed the fund and leverage significant private investment. It is unknown whether the fund will be available for social equity applicants as soon as the market opens.