With a target goal of 50% of New York cannabis licenses issued to social and economic equity applicants (Equity Applicants), we thought it would be helpful to provide a detailed explanation of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act’s (MRTA) social and economic equity plan, how the license application process works vis-à-vis Equity Applicants, and critical differences in the application process for non-Equity Applicants. Here at the Canna Law Blog, we think the social and economic equity program could do a LOT of good for New York State.
Who qualifies as an Equity Applicant?
The overall goal of the the Equity Plan is to promote diversity in commerce, ownership, and employment, and to provide opportunities for social and economic equity. The MRTA identifies the following applicants as Equity Applicants:
Individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis laws. Minority-owned businesses. Women-owned businesses. Distressed farmers. Service-disabled veterans. What constitutes a women- or minority-owned business?
In terms of ownership interest in a business enterprise, at least 51% of the business must be owned by one or more US citizens or permanent residents for the applicable category (i.e. 51% women owned).
The business must qualify as a small business