US (NY): Governor announces major progress toward advancing equity in cannabis

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the next steps toward advancing equity in New York's growing cannabis industry. Today's announcement includes the selection of Social Equity Impact Ventures, LLC, a premier minority-led investment team, to sponsor and manage the $200 million New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund. Impact Ventures is a joint venture between an entity led by NBA Hall of Famer and entrepreneur Chris Webber, who is currently an active partner in a fund for cannabis-related ventures, and entrepreneur Lavetta Willis, also a partner in the cannabis-related venture and who has extensive brand building experience; and a firm affiliated with Siebert Williams Shank, one of the nation's leading minority- and women-owned investment banking firms, that will be led by SWS CEO Suzanne Shank and SWS Chief Administrative Officer William Thompson, the former New York City Comptroller.

"Today, New York takes an important step forward in creating jobs and opportunity for those who, historically, have been disproportionately targeted for cannabis infractions," Governor Hochul said. "As we create a new industry in New York, I am proud to see real progress in addressing the economic needs of our future entrepreneurs."

Governor Hochul also announced the appointment of new members to New York's Cannabis Advisory Board, which will serve together with the Office of Cannabis Management to establish an equitable and inclusive legal cannabis industry in New York.

"It is incumbent upon us to create a socially responsible cannabis industry here in New York State that ensures jobs and opportunity for minorities who have long been subject to unfair enforcement when it comes to cannabis use," said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. "Today's announcement will help ensure New York creates a fair and inclusive cannabis industry with equitable enforcement measures that provide equal opportunity to people of color."

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