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Video: The Promise of Social Equity in the Cannabis Industry

Recorded on February 9, 2022

This program (link here: is a discussion about the implementation of the NYS Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which is both social equity and employment legislation and has as its goal repairing the damage caused by criminalization of cannabis and mass incarceration to individuals and communities. This far-reaching legislation prioritizes diversity and equity in the granting of licenses, quality jobs, and expungement of cannabis criminal records to increase employment opportunities for people involved in the criminal legal system. It will focus on the forthcoming MRTA regulations, workforce development issues, and how prospective licensees and current employers in the medical cannabis industry see the development of this emerging industry in NYS.

Introduction: Amy Desjardins, Executive Director, Workforce Development Institute


  • Roberta Reardon, NYS Commissioner of Labor

  • Christopher Alexander, Executive Director, NYS Office of Cannabis Management

  • Wasontiiosta “Wass” George, Cultivation Technician, MedMen Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Service; Plans to apply for Social Equity NYS Cannabis License

  • Norbert Pickett, Proprietor, President & CEO, Shop Cannabliss

Moderator: Esta R. Bigler, Director, ILR Labor & Employment Law Program

Link to the recording of the program here.

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