In the last two months New York Senator Jeremy Cooney has introduced two pieces of cannabis legislation that could impact New York’s cannabis industry significantly. The first is Senate Bill S7517A, which expands the definition of social and economic equity applicant under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) to include gender equality. The second is Senate Bill S7518 to permit tax deductions for commercial cannabis activities. Let’s go through them both in detail:

S7517A – Expanding the Definition of Social and Economic Equity Applicant

This bill expands the list of qualifying social and economic equity applicants to include “transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals.” The bill defines “transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals” as “any person who has a gender identity or expression different from the sex assigned to that individual at birth.”

Senator Cooney has repeatedly spoken about the importance of expanding qualified social and economic applicants to include transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals. The justification for the legislation explains why:

“Every New Yorker deserves the right to express and identify their gender as they choose. An unintended consequence of [the MRTA] would force certain individuals from choosing between their gender identity and receiving priority for a

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