How The Cannabis Industry Is Offering New Beginnings

Per the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, 350,150 arrests were made in 2022 for marijuana-related violations. Though you may think that number is high, arrests related to marijuana haven’t been that low since the mid-1990s. In 2008, that number soared beyond 800,000. As more states legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, there has been a shift in how we view the people who have used it. In March of 2021, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that legalized cannabis for people 21 and over. Even Mayor Eric Adams of New York City promised not to be “heavy-handed” on those who sold the drug. 

When the New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) began issuing adult-use retail licenses, they were reserved for some of the people we mentioned earlier: justice-involved individuals. These are people who have:

  • Been convicted of a marijuana-related crime in New York prior to March 31, 2021
  • Had a parent, guardian, spouse, or dependent convicted of one
  • Was a dependent of an individual charged with one

People with any of the criteria listed above are considered justice-involved individuals. However, you must meet other eligibility requirements to obtain a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) License. 

Am I Eligible?

The CCB wants to see that you can successfully run a business. To be eligible, you must have at least two years of generating net profits for a company or qualified non-profit organization that you had at least 10% ownership of. Because the CCB is promoting business within New York, they also require that the business be incorporated or run here. Furthermore, over the last three years (540 days), you must have been physically present in New York for a minimum of 180 days. 

Although you only have had to have 10% ownership of your previous business, the justice-involved individual must be the majority owner (51%) of the dispensary. 

What Do I Do Next?

Anyone who feels they meet the requirements of being a justice-involved individual and wants to obtain a CAURD license then has to prove three things:

  • Proof of conviction 
  • Proof of residency 
  • Proof of ownership of a past business 

There is an extensive list of documents that you can submit to verify that you have been convicted of a marijuana-related crime, have lived in New York, and have experience managing a successful business. Although listing the appropriate documents is beyond the scope of this article, you can contact the Office of Cannabis Management to verify if you have acceptable documentation. 

Contact An Attorney To Get Started!

The cannabis industry is a significant opportunity for New York entrepreneurs convicted of marijuana-related crimes. This is a chance to right a past wrong, and we want to support you and your efforts to obtain a license. If you have additional questions regarding what it means to be a justice-involved individual or need legal assistance with the application process, contact Andrea L. Gamalski, Attorney & Counselor at Law, to schedule a free phone consultation.

The following two tabs change content below.

Andrea L. Gamalski Attorneys at Law

Andrea L. Gamalski understands how important it is to have a compassionate and empathetic family law attorney who fights hard for their clients in the courtroom–mainly because she’s been one of these clients herself.

Latest posts by Andrea L. Gamalski Attorneys at Law (see all)