NY’s rollout of legal cannabis needs more speed, transparency, and oversight

Reporters at NY Cannabis Insider are putting on a clinic in accountability journalism as they scrutinize the slow, opaque, and often chaotic rollout of New York state’s legal cannabis industry.

State government leaders convening in Albany this week need to exert some oversight and leadership to figure out what’s going wrong — and then fix it.

NY Cannabis Insider’s latest is a blockbuster story published on December 1 about the investment group New York state hired to raise $150 million in private money for the buildout of retail cannabis dispensaries across the state. The idea is to hand 150 turnkey locations over to the entrepreneurs who are first in line for conditional licenses to sell legal weed because they or their families were harmed by the state’s war on drugs.

The state hired Social Equity Impact Ventures, comprised of NBA Hall of Famer Chris Webber, his business partner, entrepreneur Lavetta Willis, and a team from the investment banking firm Siebert Williams Shank. The group appears to have missed a Sept. 1 deadline to raise the $150 million. With only $50 million in state money to draw on for leasing and outfitting dispensaries, the state Office of Cannabis Management changed the rules and will allow licensees to secure their own locations.

Read more at syracuse.com

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