Turning Over A New Leaf: Formerly Jailed Latino Embraces NY Cannabis Market And Vice Versa

Fernando Peña, a former inmate at Rikers Island for marijuana possession and his wife Suzanne Furboter have obtained a license to operate a cannabis dispensary in New York under the Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary licensing program.

This program is intended to address the impact of the war on drugs on people of color, who accounted for 94% of pot-related arrests and summonses in New York City in 2020.

Peña and Furboter are among the first to receive licenses out of over 900 applicants.

The high arrest rates for marijuana-related offenses have had negative effects on low-income and predominantly Black and Latino communities, including child custody and business ownership issues, reported Emma Sanchez for NBC.

Patrice Edwards, director of the Bronx Cannabis Hub highlighted how getting arrested for marijuana-related offenses can have a negative impact on one’s ability to keep their children if they are involved in the family court system. Peña had to remove his name from the liquor license for the new restaurant that he and his wife had opened after he was arrested. 

“It was just hard to keep everything together,” Furboter told NBC, “and try to put up a front of happiness when all this was going on.”

Bronx Cannabis Hub

The Bronx Defenders and Bronx Community Foundation, along with NY Senator Chuck Schumer, State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, Bronx Borough president Vanessa L. Gibson, Kassandra Frederique of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and numerous community leaders and advocates launched The Bronx Cannabis Hub in July 2022.

Additional Licenses 

The New York Cannabis Control Board has granted 99 conditional adult-use retail dispensary licenses, bringing the total number of permits to 165, following a lawsuit and delay.

This move came after a federal court lifted an injunction that prevented regulators in New York from issuing licenses for the sale of marijuana in various regions.

The licenses include 13 applicants from Brooklyn, Central New York, Western New York, and the Mid-Hudson regions as well as a lab in Rochester. 


Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.