New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says that getting the Empire State’s legal Cannabis sales program up and running will be a high priority, reports the New York Post.
Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature approved the law in March that finally legalized the sale of marijuana in New York.
But Cuomo, distracted by his own mostly self-created shitstorms, didn’t nominate an executive director for the new Office of Cannabis Management. He also failed to name any appointees to the Cannabis Control Board. That’s notable, because the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act was passed five months ago.
The Senate must confirm any appointments to the Cannabis board from Gov. Hochul.
Cannabis Control Board Will Regulate The New Industry
The appointments are necessary for legalization to move forward, reports Marijuana Moment. Now don’t forget, these are the guys who will set up and approve new rules and licensing. The rules will cover firms and employees in the coming marijuana industry. They will regulate everything from cultivation to sales.
Appointment of members of the Cannabis Control Board will bring the state one step closer to setting up regulations and launching the retail market. As it stands, adults 21+ can possess up to three ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrate. One of the coolest parts? Adults can fire up a doob in public anywhere tobacco can be smoked.
But gosh darn it, in the absence of rules and stuff, there aren’t any pot shops open for business yet. Unlicensed dealers are no doubt enjoying brisk sales in the interim.
“Nominating and confirming individuals with diverse experiences and subject matter expertise, who are representative of communities from across the state, to the Cannabis Control Board is a priority for Gov. Hochul,” spokesperson Jordan Bennett told The Post. “We look forward to working with the legislature to keep this process moving forward.”
Lawmakers Onboard With Governor Hochul
Governor Hochul has made clear her desire to expedite the Cannabis appointments with lawmakers. These include Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).
“They have spoken about the need to make appointments to the board,” confirmed Mike Murphy, a spokesman for Stewart-Cousins, reports The Post.
Heastie also said that Hochul emphasized implementation of the marijuana program would be a priority. Hochul made the remarks during a private meeting Heastie attended with the governor and Stewart-Cousins Tuesday.
“She did say that that was something that she wanted us all to concentrate on. And we agreed,” Heastie said.
Under the law, New York will charge a 13 percent excise tax on marijuana sales. Of that, 9 percent goes to the state and 4 percent to local governments.