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NY Senator’s Proposal: Offer Cannabis Equity Benefits To Transgender And Non-Binary People

By Benzinga Staff Writer, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

Under the current cannabis law in New York, licensing priority is given to women-owned enterprises and other marginalized groups affected by the War on Drugs.

By Nina Zdinjak

New York’s cannabis program continues to produce novelties, with the most recent being a bill that would allow transgender and non-binary people to qualify as social equity applicants under the state’s cannabis law.

Senator Jeremy Cooney (D) presented the legislation in a bid to deal with an “unintended consequence” of the recreational marijuana law that would otherwise “force certain individuals from choosing between their gender identity and receiving priority for a license,” reported Marijuana Moment.

Under the current cannabis law in New York, licensing priority is given to women-owned enterprises and other marginalized groups affected by the War on Drugs.

The issue now concerns persons born biologically female and then transitioned or who identify as nonbinary. They would have to decide what to fill out on their application if they want to obtain equity benefits.

“This bill will include transgender and gender-nonbinary individuals in the social and economic equity plan giving them priority in licensing…Every New Yorker deserves the right to express and identify their gender as they choose,” the legislation says.

“The social equity aspect of the [Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act] is meant to uplift historically marginalized groups through economic opportunities in the cannabis industry and this bill furthers that effort,” it continues.

 

The legislation, filed on Friday, has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee for consideration.

The proposed bill comes some eight months after former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed recreational marijuana into law, making New York the 15th state to legalize recreational cannabis. During that time, the state announced several policy changes and updates with one of the most significant being its employee cannabis testing policy. In October, New York became the first state in the Union to prohibit employers from testing most employees for cannabis.

More recently, the state cannabis board declared marijuana gifting illegal and banned Delta-8 THC products while allowing hemp flower sales.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

The Fresh Toast is a daily lifestyle platform with a side of cannabis. For more information, visit www.thefreshtoast.com.

The Fresh Toast