"A federal judge has temporarily barred the state of New York from issuing the first batch of retail licenses for recreational cannabis in five regions pending resolution of a lawsuit filed by a Michigan-based company challenging the program's selection requirements," The New York Times reports. It's a challenge by a Michigan company claiming that a preference for New York-based applicants violates the interstate commerce clause.
More interesting in my view than the interstate commerce aspects was the news that "The first licensees are eligible for loans from a $200 million fund the state set up to secure storefronts and cover renovations."
Sure enough, there is a $200 million "New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund" created by Governor Hochul and New York lawmakers, backed by $50 million in government money and "up to $150 million from the private sector that will be raised by the fund manager." The government money is to come from "licensing fees and revenues from the adult-use cannabis industry." Why not skip the taxes and licensing fees and let the drug dealers rent and renovate their own storefronts without New York State government involvement? (Probably because that would leave the industry without any reason to hire lobbyists and make campaign contributions in Albany, thus failing to serve the politicians' interests.)
I can see the argument that the government prohibition of marijuana created more problems than it solved. Still, it seems a pretty dramatic turnaround from outlawing a substance to subsidizing it, without a stop somewhere in the middle on "just have the government leave it alone."