Thursday, July 18, 2024

NY Senator Files Bill To Include Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual People For Cannabis Equity Benefits

The current cannabis law in New York gives licensing priority to women-owned enterprises and other marginalized groups affected by the War on Drugs.

By Jelena Martinovic

Another novelty has been added to New York’s cannabis program, just weeks following the introduction of a measure that would allow transgender and non-binary people to qualify as social equity applicants under the state’s cannabis law.

This time, Senator Jeremy Cooney (D) introduced the legislation that would give the same rights to gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, Marijuana Moment reported.

Photo by DBenitostock/Getty Images

Cooney, who is also backing other recent marijuana reform proposals related to cannabis business tax benefits and licensing, filed the new bill last week.

“When New York State legalized adult-use recreational marijuana, we made a commitment to addressing the discrimination and injustice caused by the War on Drugs,” Cooney told Marijuana Moment.

“I am proud to introduce legislation to include members of our lesbian, gay and bisexual community for priority licensure in the new adult-use recreational cannabis market,” the senator said about his efforts on making equity provisions even more inclusive.

The current cannabis law in New York gives licensing priority to women-owned enterprises and other marginalized groups affected by the War on Drugs.

The Empire State legalized the plant in March, allowing adults 21 and older to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of marijuana concentrates and to buy recreational cannabis from licensed retailers and cultivate up to three mature and three immature plants for personal use.

RELATED: NY Senator’s Proposal: Offer Cannabis Equity Benefits To Transgender And Non-Binary People

Cooney highlighted that the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act is designed to “uplift historically marginalized groups through economic opportunities in the cannabis industry.”

“We are committed to working to ensure we are meeting our equity licensing goals so that New York creates the most inclusive cannabis economy in the nation,” Cooney added.


The state announced several policy changes and updates over the past nine months following legalization.

RELATED: New York Bans Cannabis And Psychedelic Mushroom Ads On Public Transport

After becoming the first state in the Union to prohibit employers from testing most employees for cannabis in October, the state’s Cannabis Control Board appointed by Gov. Kathy Hochul declared marijuana gifting illegal and banned Delta-8 THC products while allowing hemp flower sales.

Earlier this month. New York City became the first in the nation to open two overdose prevention centers (OPC) where people can use illicit drugs and receive medical care and services.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.


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