Can NYC Mayor’s proposal to put cannabis greenhouses atop NYCHA buildings come to fruition?

Mayor Eric Adams wants to put greenhouses growing cannabis on the roofs of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings, but there are a few obstacles, namely, the federal government.

While Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation in February that created a new conditional license that will allow existing New York hemp farmers to grow cannabis, the production, sales, and consumption of cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.

Adams acknowledged the “federal hurdle” when asked about his idea at a press conference on Tuesday following the ribbon-cutting for a rooftop farm atop an office building in Bloomfield on Staten Island.

The mayor emphasized that New York City has limited open spaces, which calls for creative solutions such as rooftop farms and gardens. Adams also highlighted employment opportunities that could arise with the cannabis greenhouses.

“I believe there’s a great opportunity for cannabis to be grown on NYCHA rooftops with an employment aspect of it. And using a medical cannabis aspect of the building,” he said. “We have to think differently about employment opportunities and using our rooftops better.”

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