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US: New York proposes $200 million social equity fund: "What about New Jersey?"

As New York races to open its adult cannabis market, its governor has proposed what social equity advocates are calling a bold and innovative way to get a truly diverse pool of applicants in the new cannabis industry.

In her Jan. 5 inaugural State of the State Address, Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed a $200 million social equity fund in the state’s $216.3 billion fiscal year budget, which has yet to be hammered out as the state missed its Friday deadline. New York lawmakers are expected to reconvene on Monday in Albany.

It’s prompted some lawyers who represent smaller cannabis operators and wealthy investors to ask: Why not a social equity fund in New Jersey?
Jeff Brown, executive director of the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission, said he found New York’s idea “interesting,” but could not point to a similar big-dollar proposal to ensure diversity and inclusivity in the nascent industry in New Jersey.

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