Growing Together: Urban Upbound Secures Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD) License

For decades, low-income communities across New York State have been disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition and criminalization of marijuana. The War on Drugs in our community has resulted in mass incarceration, specifically for black and brown men, adding yet another barrier to finding a job, seeking education, obtaining housing, and breaking the cycle of poverty. Since 2004, Urban Upbound has been advocating for, and providing opportunities to, justice involved individuals and those most impacted by the War on Drugs through our holistic, wrap-around support services. When the New York State Office of Cannabis Management announced the role out of Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD), Urban Upbound was uniquely qualified to provide job readiness training and technical assistance services in the cannabis retail industry, and applied for a license.

CAURD licensees are the first retail dispensaries to open for legal adult-use cannabis sales in New York State, establishing businesses owned by justice-involved individuals at the bedrock of New York’s adult-use cannabis market. A total of 900 applications for licenses were submitted under the state’s Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary program, and Urban Upbound was selected as one of the 36 organizations to receive a license.

Urban Upbound has launched Urban Weeds, LLC, to provide training and employment opportunities in the cannabis retail industry while building assets for the community and providing business planning and financial counseling services. Urban Upbound will create opportunities for our clients to grow in the cannabis industry and will develop initiatives that create and retain wealth in the community.

More information regarding Urban Weeds and Urban Upbound’s cannabis training & employment program will be available in 2023.

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Urban Upbound NYC

A collection of stories around NYC’s public housing communities curated by Urban Upbound, a non-profit organization with a mission to break cycles of poverty.