As New York prepares to roll out its recreational marijuana policies, some of the tens of thousands of workers expecting to enter the new market are running their engines.

A good number of them attended the Cannabis insider in New York conference Thursday to find out what’s next for the state’s adult market. There, Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright spoke about the new cannabis law governing sales and licensing, and reinforced the law’s social equity goals.

“We are coming together to explore and develop the cannabis industry here in New York State,” Wright said in a recorded message, “as a fair opportunity for all.”

It was followed by New York mayors, lawyers, union representatives, recruiting firms, accountants and others who answered the biggest questions about the nascent industry and also predicted – based on what happened in other states – what’s next for New York.

“We are really charting a new trajectory here and hopefully a model other states will follow,” said Kristin Jordan, CEO of Park Jordan, a cannabis-focused commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm.

During a panel on social equity, speakers addressed the glaring challenges they believe the state must address immediately to meet its planned schedule of recreational marijuana sales over the next 18 months.

“I have a little problem from a social equity standpoint with this aggressive schedule,” said Sumer Thomas, senior project manager at Canna Advisors and speaker at the event.

“We’re releasing regulations in November, you don’t really have a clue what the program will look like until – fingers crossed – December, then the applications come out in January: how long does that give you?” there to prepare you, and which groups will be in the best position to put on a fast-paced competition that will require a bunch of resources to invest in it? Thomas said.

The mayors of Albany, Ithaca and Hamilton also voiced concerns about the recreational market: Public safety, helping businesses navigate the new regulatory environment and how city governments will fund the services needed to support this industry.

“This is why we are preparing now,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, “so that we can put our arms around the interventions we can make and have our eyes wide open as we step into a new one. time. “

Further discussions Thursday focused on staffing and recruiting, the role of real estate in the application process, and how future cannabis companies can best partner with the communities they will serve.

Every municipality in the state has until Dec. 31 to opt out of retail and on-site consumption in their city, town, or town, but they cannot ban marijuana use broadly anywhere. cigarettes are allowed.

The next NY Cannabis Insider conference is scheduled for March 3, 2022.

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