A Chicago-based investment group is providing $150 million in capital to the state's Cannabis Social Equity Investment Fund as New York seeks to boost what has been a slow to expand marketplace.
Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Friday announced Chicago Atlantic Admin, LLC will invest $150 million, part of the state's $200 million goal for combined investments.
The fund, created as part of the state's cannabis marketplace law, is meant to provide support for people with adult-use cannabis licenses to receive turnkey dispensaries in order to start their businesses.
Cannabis businesses in New York are largely cash-only enterprises and can lack direct access to banking capital due to marijuana remaining illegal at the federal government level. Licenses are being distributed to "justice involved" people, or those who have been arrested or convicted under prior cannabis laws.
People with licenses will be issued low-interest loans to help pay for set-up costs.
"New York has always strived to lead the nation in providing opportunities for those who have been unjustly denied privileges and opportunities," Hochul said. "Today's announcement reinforces New York's commitment to building partnerships that benefit New Yorkers and setting right the wrongs of the past. I welcome Chicago Atlantic's participation in this program and applaud their recognition of the value that New York's cannabis program will provide to so many."
New York's cannabis marketplace has struggled to fully get off the ground. State officials in recent weeks have sought to address a "gray market" of retail outlets selling cannabis without licenses by placing fines and threatening to close businesses.
State lawmakers also have proposed support for cultivators, including allowing them to temporarily sell their product to Native American-run dispensaries.