New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) said during a panel discussion earlier this month that his administration is exploring whether the city could allow cannabis cultivation on the rooftops of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) facilities which would be overseen by staff and residents, Gothamist reports.
The plan would likely receive pushback from the federal government, which subsidizes more than half of NYCHA revenues through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Olga Alvarez, a spokesperson for HUD’s regional office, told Gothamist that the agency “has not been approached on this issue.”
“There isn’t much more to say, marijuana is illegal in public housing.” – Alvarez, in an email, to Gothamist
Adams said that under the plan, “the proceeds and education can go right into employing people right in the area.”
In a statement, Charles Kretchmer Lutvak, a spokesperson for Adams, admitted that federal law was a roadblock to Adams’ rooftop cultivation plan.
“(Federal) laws still on the books continue to harm the same communities that have been targeted for decades,” he said in the statement to Gothamist. “The House passed legislation to this effect earlier this month, and we need those who are obstructing progress at the federal level to follow New York’s lead.”
The House of Representatives passed the MORE Act on April 1 – which would legalize cannabis federally – but the measure has not been taken up by the Senate. Democratic leadership in the Senate has indicated they would introduce a separate proposal, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, in August.
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