New York secures $150M for Cannabis Social Equity Investment Fund

New York’s adult-use cannabis industry has landed a more than $100 million investment to support the state’s cannabis social equity operators, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced.

Chicago Atlantic Admin, a private investment firm, is investing up to $150 million into New York’s Cannabis Social Equity Investment Fund. New York, meanwhile, will also contribute a $50 million investment, funded by the state’s cannabis revenues, to the program.

The combined $200 million investment from Chicago Atlantic and New York reaches the state’s funding goal for the Cannabis Social Equity Investment Fund, which was included as part of the 2022-2023 state budget by Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

“New York has always strived to lead the nation in providing opportunities for those who have been unjustly denied privileges and opportunities,” Hochul said in a news release.”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 Social Equity Investment Fund aims to assist the state’s Conditional Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensary (CAURD) licensees who were negatively impacted by the war on drugs. The funds will be used to secure, lease, design, construct and furnish dispensaries throughout the state, which will be subleased to CAURD licensees, according to the release.

“We are proud to support the Governor’s initiative as well as New York’s CAURD licensees, the Cannabis Social Equity Investment Fund, the Dormitory Authority, the Cannabis Control Board and the Office of Cannabis Management in this transformational initiative,” Chicago Atlantic Founding Partner John Mazarakis and Managing Director Peter Sack said.Social equity is the cornerstone of New York’s cannabis industry, and here we aim to pair progressive licensing with progressive and innovative capital solutions. The success of New York’s social equity initiatives and its CAURD licensees will benefit all industry participants and further support the development of the legal cannabis industry nation-wide.”

Chicago Atlantic has issued more than $1.8 billion across more than 50 investment, and manages a diverse portfolio while also having extensive experience in the cannabis industry, according to the release.

“We are honored by Chicago Atlantic’s recognition of the Fund’s role in fostering social equity within the NYS cannabis industry. With our dedicated partners, we are committed to breaking down barriers and creating a more inclusive landscape,” said Chris Webber, former NBA player and principal of New York’s Cannabis Social Equity Investment Fund. “This transformative collaboration marks a significant milestone in our collective journey towards a future where every individual has equal access to opportunity and funding therefore empowering communities and driving positive change. Thank you to Governor Hochul for honoring us with the challenge to do things differently in New York for a groundbreaking result.”

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Zach Mentz

Zach Mentz is an editor at Flavor Fix, covering cannabis, CBD and alcohol news and featured stories. Previously, he worked as senior editor of Cannabis Business Times (CBT). Mentz is a graduate of the Tim Russert Department of Communication at John Carroll University.

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