Legislation

Search OpenLegislation Statutes
This entry was published on 2022-09-02
The selection dates indicate all change milestones for the entire volume, not just the location being viewed. Specifying a milestone date will retrieve the most recent version of the location before that date.
SECTION 87
Social and economic equity, minority and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers and service-disabled veterans; incubator program
Cannabis (CAN) CHAPTER 7-A, ARTICLE 4
§ 87. Social and economic equity, minority and women-owned businesses,
distressed farmers and service-disabled veterans; incubator program. 1.
The board, in consultation with the chief equity officer and executive
director, and after receiving public input shall create and implement a
social and economic equity plan and actively promote applicants from
communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition, and
promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity when issuing licenses for
adult-use cannabis related activities, including mentoring potential
applicants, by prioritizing consideration of applications by applicants
who are from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement
of cannabis prohibition or who qualify as a minority or women-owned
business, distressed farmers, or service-disabled veterans. Such
qualifications shall be determined by the board, with recommendations
from the state cannabis advisory board, the chief equity officer and
executive director, by regulation.

2. The board's social and economic equity plan shall also promote
diversity in commerce, ownership and employment, and opportunities for
social and economic equity in the adult-use cannabis industry. A goal
shall be established to award fifty percent of adult-use cannabis
licenses to social and economic equity applicants and ensure inclusion
of:

(a) individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the
enforcement of cannabis prohibition;

(b) minority-owned businesses;

(c) women-owned businesses;

(d) minority and women-owned businesses, as defined in paragraph (d)
of subdivision five of this section;

(e) distressed farmers, as defined in subdivision five of this
section; and

(f) service-disabled veterans.

3. The social and economic equity plan shall require the consideration
of additional criteria in its licensing determinations. Under the social
and economic equity plan, extra priority shall be given to applications
that demonstrate that an applicant:

(a) is a member of a community disproportionately impacted by the
enforcement of cannabis prohibition;

(b) has an income lower than eighty percent of the median income of
the county in which the applicant resides; and

(c) was convicted of a marihuana-related offense prior to the
effective date of this chapter, or had a parent, guardian, child,
spouse, or dependent, or was a dependent of an individual who, prior to
the effective date of this chapter, was convicted of a marihuana-related
offense.

4. The board in consultation with the cannabis advisory board and the
chief equity officer, shall also create an incubator program to
encourage social and economic equity applicants to apply and, if granted
an adult-use cannabis license, permit or registration, the program shall
provide direct support in the form of counseling services, education,
small business coaching and financial planning, and compliance
assistance.

5. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall
apply:

(a) "Minority-owned business" shall mean a business enterprise,
including a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company
or corporation that is:

(i) at least fifty-one percent owned by one or more minority group
members;

(ii) an enterprise in which such minority ownership is real,
substantial and continuing;

(iii) an enterprise in which such minority ownership has and exercises
the authority to control independently the day-to-day business decisions
of the enterprise;

(iv) an enterprise authorized to do business in this state and
independently owned and operated; and

(v) an enterprise that is a small business.

(b) "Minority group member" shall mean a United States citizen or
permanent resident alien who is and can demonstrate membership in one of
the following groups:

(i) black persons having origins in any of the black African racial
groups;

(ii) Hispanic persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban,
Central or South American of either Indian or Hispanic origin,
regardless of race;

(iii) Native American or Alaskan native persons having origins in any
of the original peoples of North America; or

(iv) Asian and Pacific Islander persons having origins in any of the
far east countries, south east Asia, the Indian subcontinent or the
Pacific islands.

(c) "Women-owned business" shall mean a business enterprise, including
a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or
corporation that is:

(i) at least fifty-one percent owned by one or more United States
citizens or permanent resident aliens who are women;

(ii) an enterprise in which the ownership interest of such women is
real, substantial and continuing;

(iii) an enterprise in which such women ownership has and exercises
the authority to control independently the day-to-day business decisions
of the enterprise;

(iv) an enterprise authorized to do business in this state and
independently owned and operated; and

(v) an enterprise that is a small business.

(d) A firm owned by a minority group member who is also a woman may be
defined as a minority-owned business, a women-owned business, or both.

(e) "Distressed farmer" shall mean: (i) a New York state resident or
business enterprise, including a sole proprietorship, partnership,
limited liability company or corporation, that meets the small farm
classification developed by the Economic Research Service of the United
States Department of Agriculture, has filed a schedule F with farm
receipts for the last three years, qualifies for an agriculture
assessment and meets other qualifications defined in regulation by the
board to demonstrate that they operate a farm operation as defined in
section three hundred one of the agriculture and markets law and has
been disproportionately impacted, including but not limited to incurring
operating losses, by low commodity prices and faces the loss of farmland
through development or suburban sprawl and meets any other
qualifications as defined in regulation by board; or (ii) a New York
state resident or business enterprise, including a sole proprietorship,
partnership, limited liability company or corporation, that is a small
farm operator and a member of a group that has been historically
underrepresented in farm ownership and meets any other qualifications as
defined in regulation by board.

* (f) "Service-disabled veterans" shall mean persons qualified under
article seventeen-B of the executive law.

* NB Effective until April 1, 2023

* (f) "Service-disabled veterans" shall mean persons qualified under
article three of the veterans' services law.

* NB Effective April 1, 2023

(g) "Communities disproportionately impacted" shall mean, but not be
limited to, a history of arrests, convictions, and other law enforcement
practices in a certain geographic area, such as, but not limited to,
precincts, zip codes, neighborhoods, and political subdivisions,
reflecting a disparate enforcement of cannabis prohibition during a
certain time period, when compared to the rest of the state. The board
shall, with recommendations from the state cannabis advisory board, the
chief equity officer and executive director, issue guidelines to
determine how to assess which communities have been disproportionately
impacted and how to assess if someone is a member of a community
disproportionately impacted.

6. The board shall actively promote applicants that foster racial,
ethnic, and gender diversity in their workforce.

7. Licenses issued under the social and economic equity plan shall not
be transferred or sold within the first three years of issue, except to
a qualified social and economic equity applicant and with the prior
written approval of the board. In the event a social and economic equity
applicant seeks to transfer or sell their license at any point after
issue and the transferee is to a person or entity that does not qualify
as a social and economic equity applicant, the transfer agreement shall
require the new license holder to pay to the board any outstanding
amount owed by the transferor to the board as repayment of any loan
issued by the board as well as any other fee or assessment as determined
by the board.