© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Statewide panel looks equity in cannabis business

Avery Schneider

For years State Assembly Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes led the charge for marijuana legalization and on March 31st of this year the dream became a reality with the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act becoming law.

But now Peoples-Stokes believes the real heavy lifting begins. From her work on the legislation she knows there are out-of-state eyes looking upon a burgeoning New York market for cannabis-related businesses. Peoples-Stokes said at this stage it’s all about getting New York residents, who are interested, started with their own businesses.

“If we don't do that, then the people who have already capitalized in the business no matter where they come from, will literally gobble up the entire industry. And so we have not really benefited New Yorkers we've benefited business and quite honestly I'm not adverse to business. I'm, you know, from a family of business people as well. But the point of the matter is we've got to have a New York focus first.”

A New York focus includes giving half of all cannabis licenses to social equity applicants. This would include minority and women business owners, veterans, farmers and people from communities negatively impacted by mass incarcerations due to the War on Drugs.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
Related Content