State Cannabis Control Board advances key components of plan to distribute retail marijuana

The Cannabis Control Board advanced key regulations on how to distribute retail marijuana licenses.
The plan is to set aside the first round of licenses for those either convicted of a marijuana offense or who have family members convicted of a marijuana-related offense.
Recreational marijuana was legalized last year in New York, and social justice reform was put at the forefront. The goal is to bring back revenue to communities that have been hard hit by the war on drugs.
The state's Cannabis Control Board discussed regulations at Thursday's meeting. The regulations would limit eligibility for the first set of applicants. According to an OCM spokesperson, the first 100-200 spots are slated to be set aside for those with marijuana-related convictions.
Social justice groups have praised the state for the move, saying the system has locked up a disproportionate number of people of color for drug crimes.
The board also approved a license for hemp farmers.
"We're putting our farmer and those who have been justice involved at the front of the line and at the forefront of this industry," says Chris Alexander, of the NYS Office of Cannabis Management.
It's still unclear how many retail licenses will be issued in New York or when the application process will be available.
Sales of marijuana are expected to begin by the end of the year.