New York legalized marijuana for recreational use last March with a law designed to carve out space for small businesses and people from diverse backgrounds. But nearly a year out, much remains unknown about what the licensing process will look like for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs anxiously waiting in the wings — or how accessible the industry will really be.
In the meantime, there’s no shortage of misinformation or eager cannabis consultants ready to sell their services.
“Right now there’s a lot of sharks just trying to make money off people who are trying to transition to this industry,” said Domingo Estevez, who chairs the Public Safety Committee of Manhattan Community Board 12, which represents the predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood.
In an effort to provide a clearer picture of what the application process will look like and what they will need to participate in the industry, the Community Board hosted a Q&A Tuesday night with Tremaine Wright, chair of the state’s recently formed Cannabis Control Board, which will be overseeing the licensing process. More than 200 people attended and Wright answered questions from those interested in starting new businesses as well as those seeking to move their underground cannabis operations