In New York, previously convicted get first cannabis licences

NEW YORK: Naiomy Guerrero’s brother was regularly stopped by the police and was convicted of drug charges when marijuana is illegal in New York. Now, she is establishing a legal marijuana business, a promising new market full of pitfalls. New York State is offering the first 150 permits for legal marijuana sales for people – and their loved ones – who have been convicted of drug-related crimes, including selling.
The policy, implemented by the state’s Democratic Party leaders, seeks to compensate African-American and Hispanic communities whose members have been unlawfully arrested and convicted for many years. Weed decade is illegal. “It was an exciting moment for my family,” said Guerrero, 31, a doctoral student in art history with parents from the Dominican Republic. “Especially because of where we come from and everything we’ve been through, with the discriminatory policies the city has in place, like stop and go,” she said.
Last month, Guerrero was one of the first 28 successful candidates to receive a license to open an official store and sell locally grown cannabis. The permits come more than a year after the state of New York legalized use marijuana.
In New York City, the smell of weeds is now as pervasive as the skyscrapers. The city government expects the legal cannabis industry to generate $1.3 billion in revenue next year and create between 19,000 and 24,000 jobs over three years. That represents much-needed tax revenue. In 2018, a state report estimated there were 800,000 arrests for possession of marijuana in the previous 20 years. In 2017, most of those arrested were black (48%), while Hispanics accounted for 38% of arrests. “Prohibition has denied people opportunities, it has caused divestment in communities, it has torn families apart,” said Tremaine Wright, the supervisory board chair of the New York Office of Cannabis Regulatory. broken.


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