This fall, members of the New York City Cannabis Industry Association (NYCCIA) and the Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association (HVCIA), gathered with cannabis industry insiders to celebrate the impending home cannabis cultivation policy change in New York. At the Wake & Bake Brunch Fundraiser on Staten Island, the group of veteran and prospective association members mingled with the committee chairs and board members that were present, jovially reconnecting after a year of imposed isolation. The room was ablaze with laughter and conversation as cannabis industry insiders filled the home of NYCCIA Events Committee member, and recognized industry advocate, KymB.
The two professional coalitions for cannabis businesses advocate on behalf of cannabis entrepreneurs in these two regions and have been focusing heavily on the policy surrounding legal home grow in the state’s burgeoning legal cannabis market.
After a welcome message from KymB, and introductions from Andrew Schriever, co-founder of the NYCCIA/HVCIA with David Holland, there was a short presentation from the Home Grow Committee chair, Mike McGuire about the importance and future of legal home grow in New York. The presentation also featured remarks from Charlotte Hanna, founder and CEO of Rebelle dispensary, the event’s sponsor, as well as from NYCCIA Social and Economic Equality chair, attorney Michelle Fields.
While the presentation highlighted the potential benefits for those who don’t have easy access to plant medicine, the presenters were also adamant about pointing out the ways in which the current legislation falls short. They specifically addressed how those who live in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing might be excluded from participating in legal home grow. These federal restrictions create boundaries to this access for people in historically heavily impacted communities, potentially leaving millions of New Yorkers out of the equation and potential profits.
The depth of this deficit is a top priority for the various committees and board members who work together to help create an inclusive and sustainable cannabis marketplace. For prospective members avidly listening to the presentation, the presentation helped illuminate that these were organizations that put action behind their missions of creating an equitable, sustainable cannabis market. The passion for the plant was palpable, as people mingled and discussed the plant that brought them together.
Co-founder Schriever captured the importance of the event with this statement, “We don't pretend to speak for everybody, but what we want to do is collect all the voices of all the stakeholders who want to have a responsible, growing, thriving cannabis industry and bring them together. Then [we] figure out where we have common agreements and that's the collective voice that yields itself in the reports that our committees present.”
For more information about NYCCIA / HVCIA, visit ciamembership.org.
Featured image: Attorney Michelle Fields, Social and Economic Equality Committee Chair for the New York City Cannabis Industry Association (NYCCIA). (C) Theara Coleman / Honeysuckle Media, Inc.