Building an Inclusive and Sustainable Cannabis Industry in New York State

On October 6, 2022, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) is hosting an important conversation across the private and public sectors about the enormous business opportunities with legalized recreational cannabis in New York State and the barriers to inclusive participation and sustainable production. This event should serve to kick off a series of discussions exploring the business, educational, legal, and policy responses to cannabis legalization, co-hosted by NYU Silver School of Social Work, with other NYU schools and student organizations.

  • Damian Fagon, Chief Equity Officer, NYS Office of Cannabis Management overseeing the social and economic equity initiatives laid out in the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. 
  • Chris Klamin, Co-founder and CEO, Butter a vertical seeds to sale cannabis company focusing on craft flower, retail, and sustainable practices.
  • Dakota Pippins – NYC professor and cannabis entrepreneur, a Black-led company, E29 Labs, in Upstate NY is using cannabis cultivation to help revitalize and create jobs in a post-industrial town.
  • Wanda Salaman, Mothers on the Move, a community-based organization in the South Bronx focused on helping low-income reisdents and working to create new BIPOC-led cannabis cultivation businesses in/near NYC
Our panelists will provide insights on the new law and associated regulations, including how to ensure access to capital for new and BIPOC businesses, the role of public-private and Upstate-Downstate partnerships in creating a sustainable and equitable cannabis industry, and the potential of traditional and controlled environment agriculture to create new jobs and new opportunities in cannabis production.

Join us by registering for a limited in-person spot here or signing up for the virtual link here.

CSB is convening this discussion through Invest NYC SDG, a multi-year initiative designed to help build a more sustainable and equitable economy for New York City. Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as a framework, the initiative catalyzes community-supported projects and helps to attract private investment to tackle some of the major challenges of our time.

Background Information:
Cannabis will be a $41 billion+ industry in the United States by 2026. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis and New York State is at the forefront of building an inclusive and sustainable system for cannabis production, distribution, and consumption. The New York State Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, enacted in March 2021, legalizes the production, sale and use of marijuana in New York State. Importantly, the law requires that 50% of all licenses be provided to “social equity applicants.” But this commitment to benefit communities most damaged by former marijuana laws is incomplete without also providing access to capital, technological expertise, and business support for licensees. In addition, restrictions on cannabis use in public housing and lack of clarity around the expungement of cannabis related convictions threaten to continue criminalizing these communities.