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New York Bill Filed To Include Transgender & Non-Binary People For Cannabis Equity Benefits

New York Bill Filed To Include Transgender & Non-Binary People For Cannabis Equity Benefits

New York Senator Jeremy Cooney (D) filed Senate Bill S7517 which will include transgender and gender non-binary in the social and economic equity program related to adult-use licensing from the state’s Cannabis Control Board.

The justification section of the bill states that “every New Yorker deserves the right to express and identify their gender as they choose. An unintended consequence of the law would force certain individuals from choosing between their gender identity and receiving priority for a license.”

On March 31st, New York lawmakers approved the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. The bill includes a social and economic equity plan to help meet a target goal of 50% of cannabis licenses awarded to prioritized groups such as minority-owned businesses and other marginalized groups, with the exception of gender-nonbinary and transgender individuals. While the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act priorities licenses for women hoping to enter cannabis, that language “creates inadvertent complications for the transgender and gender-nonbinary community,” according to Marijuana Moment.

SB S7517 aims to change that, however, and also reads that “the social equity aspect of the [Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act] is meant to uplift historically marginalized groups through economic opportunities in the cannabis industry, and this [Senate] bill furthers that effort.”

The Cannabis Control Board is in charge of establishing the framework for the cannabis industry in the state and awarding adult-use licenses to prospective business owners. 

The Cannabis Control Board recently appointed ex-Brooklyn Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright as chair of the board back in September. After their first meeting, the board announced approval for patients to have immediate access to medical flowers, which they can consume with their favorite joint papers anywhere that tobacco can be legally smoked.

The bill introduced by the New York senator was filed last Friday, according to reports, and is currently under review by the Senate Rules Committee.

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