The New York Senate on Tuesday approved a bill to provide provisional marijuana cultivator and processor licenses for existing hemp businesses that take certain steps to promote equity in the emerging industry. Sponsored by Sen. Michelle Hinchey (D), the legislation aims to simultaneously expedite the process of standing up New York’s adult-use market while supporting efforts to reach ambitious equity goals with respect to cannabis business participation. It passed in a 50-13 vote. Meanwhile, the Assembly is scheduled to take up an identical companion measure on Wednesday, meaning the legislation could be sent to the governor’s desk imminently. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D), who took the lead on the adult-use legalization bill that was enacted last year, is sponsoring her chamber’s version of the licensing bill. “Last year, with the historic passage of the MRTA, New York set the foundation for a legal cannabis industry predicated on social equity, inclusion, and ensuring that economic success stays local,” Hinchey said in a press release. “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.”

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 02/16/2022 11:10:00

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