New York is joining with an NBA Hall of Famer to move its new cannabis industry toward the next steps.

Social Equity Impact Ventures, led by Chris Webber, is being named to sponsor and manage the $200-million Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund that will finance the leasing and equipping of up to 150 conditional adult-use marijuana retail dispensaries in New York State.

Chris Webber is currently an active partner in a fund for cannabis-related ventures.

Getty Images/ Stephen Brashear
Getty Images/ Stephen Brashear

In addition to the selection of Impact Ventures to manage the investment portion of the new retail industry, an announcement June 23 in Albany named appointment of new members to the New York Cannabis Advisory Board to work with the Office of Cannabis Management to refine the regulations to establish an “equitable and inclusive legal cannabis industry in New York.”

Since the start of the process of licensing adult-use marijuana dispensaries, State officials have made a point to offer priority to individuals who have been negatively impacted by past drug laws that often left minorities and low-income, low-level offenders locked up while others accused of marijuana violations were able to pay bail or otherwise allowed to go free.

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The new Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund will help those with new Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary Licenses to meet the costs of establishing their shops, including the identification and leasing of suitable retail locations.  The fund will also help with design, construction and the equipping of the spaces.   The fund is supported by up to 50-million dollars in licensing fees, revenue from the adult-use cannabis industry and up to 150-million dollars to be raised by the fund manager from the private sector.

Under New York’s new Cannabis Law, money raised through taxes on cannabis and from licensing fees is to be divided between the reinvestment fund (40%), local school districts in municipalities that allow retail shops (40%) and drug treatment programs (20%).

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