New York’s $200 million cannabis fund, designed to assist disadvantaged individuals entering the legal cannabis market, is nearing its fundraising goal. Chicago Atlantic, an experienced asset management firm in the cannabis industry, has agreed to invest $150 million, boosting the fund significantly.
The aim is to promote diversity and equity in the growing legal marijuana sector, Governor Kathy Hochul noted in a press release. The fund supports “social equity” entrepreneurs, including women, people of color, struggling farmers, disabled veterans, and communities affected by over-policing.
Initial dispensary licenses in New York are prioritized for individuals with past marijuana-related convictions or their relatives. Nonprofit organizations like Housing Works have also received licenses. The fund provides low-interest loans to help licensees find and set up storefronts, with repayment required.
“This infusion of capital will provide necessary support to licensees and will help New York further its work of establishing an inclusive cannabis market that creates opportunities for entrepreneurs harmed by prohibition and locked out of markets in other states,” said NYS Office of Cannabis Management executive director Chris Alexander.
The injection of funds is also expected to accelerate the establishment of legal recreational dispensaries and combat the illegal cannabis market.
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