More on Justice Involved and the New York Cannabis Market

What to Know, What to Do, What to Expect for Your License Application

Update to our previous post: NY to Award 100 Social Equity dispensary licenses


With regulations for cannabis licenses in New York anticipated to drop any day now, we wanted to share some quick insight into and for eligible Justice Involved applicants. More information will be made available and updated accordingly as the Office of Cannabis Management releases regulations.  

What is Justice Involved?

Justice Involved is the term used for individuals who have been convicted of a cannabis-related offense in New York prior to March 31, 2021. This definition also includes individuals who have had a parent, guardian, child, spouse, or dependent convicted, or was a dependent of an individual convicted of a cannabis-related offense. 

What are the eligibility requirements for Justice Involved in New York?

An individual must have a significant presence in New York. If multiple individuals are applying, the majority of the applicant owners must be residents of New York and at least one of them must be Justice Involved to meet the requirements. 

Justice Involved individuals must provide evidence of their primary residence at the time of the arrest or conviction and have held or currently hold at least 10% ownership of a qualifying business which has had net profit for at least two years of operations.

Justice Involved applicants must have at least 51% of their ownership be owned by a (or multiple) Justice Involved individuals or have 30% sole ownership of the applicant business. 

I’m a Justice Involved applicant, what should I be doing now?

Regulations are expected soon, though no firm date has been announced by the Cannabis Control Board. Now would be a good time to begin foundational business planning and gathering documentation that will be required for the application. This can include, but is not limited to: business experience and proof of ownership, current and past proof of residency, organizing and ensuring the corporate structure of the applicant business meets percentage ownership requirements, and gathering the above information for any other individuals who will be included within the license application

What can we expect from the Justice Involved application requirements?

While Justice Involved licenses were anticipated, what was not expected were the business requirements. We will likely see an added emphasis on professional experience, be it in highly regulated industries or in more senior-level positions within a profitable business. We do not know how many specific narrative elements will be included within the application, but it is likely there will be sections where the applicant can detail their business and personal experiences, plans for their anticipated cannabis business, and steps taken to be a community leader. 

More information will be provided soon, and we at Canna Advisors will be in a prime position to offer additional insight, guidance, and consultation for Justice Involved applicants. 


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