DASNY Seeks Firms for $200 million Social Equity Program to Develop Conditional Adult-Use Retail Cannabis Dispensaries for Social Equity Licensees
The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) today announced that it has released two requests for proposals (RFPs) relating to the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Program (the Program) that was included in the FY 2023 Enacted State Budget.
The public-private program is a key component of the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which is furthering the goal of the state’s Cannabis Law to facilitate business opportunities for individuals impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of the cannabis prohibition. The program will help them overcome barriers experienced by equity entrepreneurs in other states that includes accessing the capital required to source, lease, construct and equip suitable real estate for the dispensary locations for their retail cannabis business.
The Seeding Opportunity Initiative, announced by Governor Hochul earlier this year, positions equity-entrepreneurs to be the first to make adult-use retail cannabis sales in New York with products grown by New York farmers. Under the Initiative, these initial equity-entrepreneur, retail owners must meet two prongs of eligibility to qualify. First, they must have a cannabis-related conviction that occurred prior to the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA) on March 31, 2021, or had a parent, guardian, child, spouse, or dependent with a pre-MRTA cannabis-related conviction in the State of New York. Second, they must also have experience owning and operating a successful business in the State of New York.
The Initiative has three components: the Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary License (CAURD), the Adult Use Conditional Cultivator License, and the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Program.
The RFPs released today advance the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Program, which will help CAURD licensees meet the costs of establishing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries. The program, which will be supported by up to $50 million in licensing fees and revenue from the adult-use cannabis industry and up to $150 million from the private sector, will provide funds that can be used to assist with:
• Identifying suitable locations for Dispensaries
• Acquiring or leasing the space for the Dispensaries
• Designing and constructing the space to suit business needs
• Fitting out locations with furniture and other equipment
The RFPs issued this week include:
• Selection of Fund Sponsor, General Partner and Fund Manager to manage the New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Program. Working with the Legislature, Governor Hochul provided the authority for the State to create a fund of up to $200 million to finance the leasing and equipping of adult use retail cannabis dispensaries in New York state to be operated by social equity licensees. The RFP seeks proposals from parties interested to act as fund sponsor, general partner and fund manager to such fund. Proposals are due by June 8, with award of the RFP announced no earlier than June 20.
• Selection of Design-Build Firms to Support Development of Retail Dispensaries. DASNY is seeking proposals from qualified Design-Build teams to provide design, construction, and other services needed to renovate existing spaces for conditional adult-use cannabis retail dispensary facilities to be operated by social equity licensees. DASNY anticipates that an amount up to 150 dispensaries will be completed across the State. Proposals are due by June 13, with awards of the RFP announced no earlier than July 11.
The Program will identify and lease locations throughout the state to be conditional adult use cannabis retail dispensaries for operation by social equity entrepreneurs. The Fund also will advance fund the costs of construction, equipping and leasing of these sites for repayment by the social equity entrepreneurs. DASNY has significant experience and expertise in design and construction and will manage and oversee the buildout of locations that will be performed by selected design-build contractors.
Founded in 1944, DASNY – the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York – is New York State’s capital project development authority. It finances and constructs sustainable and resilient science, health and education institutions that help New York thrive. It is one of the largest issuers of tax-exempt bonds in the nation with an outstanding bond portfolio of approximately $59.6 billion as of March 31, 2022. DASNY is also a prolific public builder with a construction pipeline of more than 1,040 projects valued at approximately $9 billion as of March 31, 2022. To learn more about DASNY, visit www.dasny.org.