In an article about the anticipated opening of New York’s adult-use cannabis market, our CEO and chairman Brian Fitzpatrick was interviewed about the Seeding Opportunity Initiative. This program, which has been under development since March of 2021, aims to repair the harm caused by the War on Drugs.
The program highlights New York’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cannabis industry. It ensures that the first recreational dispensaries in operation will be owned by members of communities who are impacted by the War on Drugs. Business owners can be those whose lives have been affected by cannabis enforcement or criminalization.
“This is the most aggressive program I have seen thus far where talk and planning have been put into action to make a direct and meaningful impact on the community with respect to social equity,” Brian said.
“This also places the cannabis program into the legal and regulatory light of day for the state of New York, with its focus on driving safety through the cannabis supply chain, starting with the empowerment of 280 family farms to grow compliant and safe cannabis.”
Brian’s comments on the increasing legislation across the country are important because such developments are critical signals of the industry’s need for increased quality control and regulation.
A recent article from MJBizDaily reported that the continued battle between regulated and elicit markets in New York would be a top trend in the coming year. This is because of the pervasive and expansive nature of New York’s unlicensed market.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Cannabis Industry
Equally important are Brian’s remarks about social equity in the American cannabis industry. Recent reports have found that only 2% of cannabis businesses are owned by Black Americans. This is in stark contrast to the fact that the same demographic makes up 14% of the American population.
“This is what I believe the industry is called to achieve,” Brian said. “Utilizing the legalization of cannabis as an opportunity to create a safe and compliant environment that contributes to the health and welfare of the community while making an impact on society by helping to reduce the damage that has been done by the War on Drugs.”
The first New York dispensary to open its doors is owned by Housing Works, a local nonprofit organization that aims to end homelessness and AIDS. Housing Works already provides community support in a wide range of ways and all proceeds from their new dispensary—called Housing Works Cannabis Co.—will go toward supporting their community work.
The actions in New York represent a positive effort, something Qredible wishes to measure, validate, and champion in its platform as the team continues to work to protect the cannabis supply chain.
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