New York officials are rolling out the green carpet for convicted weed sellers who are now going legit.
The state Dormitory Authority of New York is getting ready to spend some $200 million in public funds to rent out locations where the ex-cons can set up shop and sell weed — removing a major obstacle for the budding entrepreneurs.
The authority has begun this process by soliciting bids from real estate experts to help identify the best places for cannabis stores. They will then finance the start-up costs of construction and prepare the sites for business through loans to the cannabis retailers.
State policy requires that New Yorkers previously convicted marijuana offenses be awarded the first batch of licenses to sell cannabis legally.
“When they get licensed they can move right in,” said DASNY CEO Reuben McDaniel III, who also serves as a member of the state cannabis control board.
He said the program will provide an opportunity for ex-cons “impacted by the war on drugs” to become successful entrepreneurs.
The Dormitory Authority on Wednesday also announced that it hired two minority investment firms — basketball hall of famer Chris Webber and partner Lavetta Willis and the firm Seibert Williams Shank, founded by Suzanne Shank and whose chief administrative officer is former city Comptroller Bill Thompson — to help raise money and manage the $200 million social equity investment fund. [Read More @ The NY Post]