When Gov. Kathy Hochul announced her administration’s “Seeding Opportunity Initiative” in March, players in the state’s cannabis industry lauded the plan to use a $200 million public/private state fund to design and build dispensaries for social equity businesses.
Those projects will be administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), which will oversee design-builds of 150 dispensaries across the state over the next four years. When construction is finished, businesses holding conditional retail cannabis licenses – which are only available to a segment of social equity applicants – will occupy these renovated storefronts.
However, insiders are questioning whether the amount of work necessary is feasible in the timeframe set; if the state is equipped to act as a landlord for 150 new dispensaries; why there is no requirement for vendors to be minority and/or women-owned business enterprises; and how prospective contractors can agree to complete the work when they’re not yet sure what requirements regulators will set for construction.
“It’s essential for them to find a way to administer these contracts properly,” said Matthew Namer, founder and CEO of Manhattan-based weed industry real estate brokerage Cannabeta Realty Group. “It would be a real shame if they didn’t, and it