US (NY): Gov. Kathy Hochul sets up $5M loan program to open licensed cannabis shops

Under fire for a slow rollout of the cannabis program, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration is offering new $100,000 low-interest loans to licensed cannabis operators who find their own locations to open shop.

Previously, such loans were only available for sites secured by the state Dormitory Authority of New York. But DASNY’s effort to raise funds and find sites has largely been a bust, cannabis industry players said.

The state Office of Cannabis Management is shifting $5 million into the new loan program from an existing $50 million fund set aside for DASNY. State regulators told cannabis operators of the new financing program during a private meeting on Tuesday.

The loans, which would cover capital costs associated with opening cannabis stores, would have a 5% interest rate and be paid back over five years. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Osbert Orduna, a disabled U.S. Marine veteran who runs a home delivery cannabis service and also is licensed to open his own pot shop in Queens. The rollout of the legal cannabis program has been frustratingly slow and rocky, industry insiders said.


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