New York bureaucrats are taking big-time steps to advance equity in cannabis as they continue to work toward implementing an inclusive adult-use market by the end of the year.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced June 22 the selection of Social Equity Impact Ventures LLC, a minority-led investment team, to sponsor and manage New York’s $200-million Social Equity Cannabis Investment Program that was included in the state’s fiscal 2023 enacted state budget.
The program, which will help develop conditional adult-use cannabis dispensaries for social equity licensees, is a key component of the state’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative—an effort to promote social equity through positioning individuals with prior cannabis-related criminal offenses to make the first adult-use cannabis sales in New York.
Impact Ventures is a joint venture between an entity led by NBA Hall-of-Famer and entrepreneur Chris Webber and entrepreneur Lavetta Willis—partners in a fund for cannabis-related ventures—and a firm affiliated with Siebert Williams Shank (SWS), one of the nation’s leading minority- and women-owned financial services firms that offers investment banking. SWS CEO Suzanne Shank and Chief Administration Officer William Thompson, the former New York City Comptroller, will lead the firm’s role in managing