UNION SQUARE TRAVEL AGENCY: A CANNABIS STORE, opened on February 13. The store has a robust portfolio of products from New York farmers including premium flower, pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, accessories, and more, many from BIPOC and woman-owned brands.
President Arana Hankin-Biggers said, “I’ve spent my career committed to creating economic opportunities for communities of color, and am proud to be involved in the legal cannabis industry which is finding ways for the private sector, public sector and not for profits to collaborate to empower marginalized communities.”
“This is an example of New York State getting it right,” said John McDonald of The Doe Fund. “For three decades, The Doe Fund has lived on the cutting edge of innovation, relentlessly pioneering ways to restore racial, economic and criminal justice to communities disproportionately impacted by systemic failures and inequity. Over 90% of the men we serve are BIPOC and 67% have been incarcerated. Upon their release – without successful reentry programs – they face the same marginalization from the mainstream, the same lack of economic opportunity that led them to resort to crime in the first place. Cannabis licensing; partnerships with nonprofits serving these impacted populations; and, most importantly, the revenue generated by this industry (which will go toward ending intergenerational poverty and enhancing programs like ours) can inspire systemic change and advance racial and economic justice.”
Hankin-Biggers and CEO Paul Yau expect to create 50 new jobs at the UNION SQUARE TRAVEL AGENCY. Hankins-Biggers and Yau also announced it has hired cannabis retail veteran Michael Conway to be their VP of Retail. Conway comes to the company following a successful tenure helping multiple state operator Ascend Wellness in their New Jersey and Massachusetts launch and oversaw the transition from medical to adult use in its NJ locations. Prior to that, he was Director of Retail Operations for Curaleaf NY where he managed the opening of four retail locations that led the NY medical market in sales and service.
Since 1985, The Doe Fund has helped nearly 30,000 individuals break the devastating cycle of poverty, homelessness, and incarceration. Its Ready, Willing & Able program provides paid work, housing, and comprehensive support services to homeless and formerly incarcerated men in New York City. In addition, The Doe Fund operates a portfolio of nearly 900,000 square feet of permanent affordable and supportive housing.