New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said she plans to create a $200 million public-private fund to support social equity applicants in the state’s legal cannabis industry, which is estimated to tip the scales at $4.2 billion. With New York preparing to issue licenses for stores to sell cannabis to adults 21 and over, the “industry must create opportunities for all New Yorkers, particularly those from historically marginalized communities,” Hochul said Wednesday in her 2022 State of the State address. The $200 million public-private fund aims to “support social equity applicants as they plan for and build out their businesses,” Hochul said. Licensing fees and tax revenue will seed the fund, along with private investment, to fund direct capital and startup financing to social equity applicants. New York plans to award 50% of all licenses to equity applicants, including individuals from impacted communities, minority- and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers, justice-involved individuals and service-disabled veterans. The state is also creating a state-run business incubator.