At an April 9 panel discussion in Albany, Adams said his team was exploring whether the city could allow cannabis cultivation on the rooftops of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) facilities. The idea, he said, would be to employ NYCHA residents to staff and oversee the greenhouses as the state continues to roll out its recreational marijuana program for adults.
“The jobs can come from NYCHA residents. The proceeds and education can go right into employing people right in the area.”
As part of its economic development agenda, the Adams administration has been pushing an ambitious pilot program for rooftop cultivation on federally-funded NYCHA public housing properties. The current laws, however, still classify marijuana as a controlled substance, leading to an inevitable impasse. An inbound decriminalization bill written by New York Democratic congressman Jerry Nadler could clear the way for legal grow operations on such property via an update to the federal guidelines, which a spokesperson for the mayor told Gothamist are held over from a pernicious era of public policymaking.
“[Federal] laws still on the books continue to harm the same communities that have been targeted for decades,” City Hall spokesperson Charles Lutvak explained. “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.”