A New Chief Equity Officer! New York Cannabis Regulators Appoints Damian Fagon

William Davis

The New York state cannabis regulators decided to start accepting applications for adult-use cannabis processors and authorized the employment of a point person to oversee the state's work on social justice.

With experience advising cannabis businesses for the last 5 years, Damian Fagon, a third-generation farmer and agriculture consultant, was approved by the Cannabis Control Board to fill the position of Chief Equity Officer. He’ll monitor the accomplishment of the social equity objectives outlined in New York's cannabis legalization law.

Fagon confirmed that his familiarity with cannabis farming and understanding of running a small business qualifies him for this role. He also added that he is aware of how the problems associated with banking, fundraising, regulatory compliance, and land disputes can affect new cannabis entrepreneurs.

The duties associated with Fagon's new position are extensive and include:

  • Creating and implementing the organization's plan for social and economic fairness.
  • Establishing community-focused public education initiatives for cannabis prohibition-affected areas
  • Giving advice to the office on how to draft its rules and regulations
  • Assisting license applicants in creating a social responsibility framework agreement that promotes racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the workplace
  • Providing guidance on the size, scope, and eligibility requirements for microbusinesses with state licenses.
  • Providing advice on the development of a state incubation program for candidates interested in social and economic fairness.

The Human Rights Campaign's director of litigation, Jason Starr, had previously been offered the position of the Chief Equity Officer, but he declined. The CCB granted a total of 203 applications for conditional cultivation permits during the same meeting, making it legal to cultivate marijuana for adult consumption in the Empire State.

The decision to start accepting applications for cannabis processors was also approved by the board. The window will be available from June 28 through August 31. According to regulators, regulated cannabis sales should start in New York by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.

The $200 million public-private fund, created to aid entrepreneurs launch their cannabis firms, was administered by Social Equity Impact Ventures LLC, a group co-led by former NBA star Chris Webber, according to state authorities, who made the announcement the day before the board meeting.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, a public welfare corporation that supports the development of not-for-profit organizations in the state, will collaborate with the state legislature to administer the fund, which was approved by the state legislature as part of New York's 2023 budget.

Medical Marijuana in New York

Since 2014, New Yorkers have had access to medical cannabis lawfully under the state's medical marijuana program.

If a state-registered healthcare professional declares that medicinal cannabis is clinically suitable, then a person may be qualified to use it to treat their medical condition. The state also requires patients to register before they may buy medicinal marijuana.

The new legislation raises the number of caregivers permitted per patient, extends the length of prescriptions to 60 days (up from 30 days), and permits the purchase of smokable cannabis in shops that specialize in medicinal marijuana.

Patients in the approved medicinal cannabis program will also be permitted to cultivate up to six plants at a time in their homes after rules are established. Speak with a healthcare practitioner for further details on whether medicinal cannabis could be able to benefit you.

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William Davis is a CBD and MMJ enthusiast working with Quick Med Cards. He has been covering cannabis-related stories for many years and has been involved in educating readers about the potential benefits this tabooed plant can have.

Sheridan, WY
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