State legislators have started appointing new members to join New York’s Cannabis Control Board. The latest one to join the board is a lawyer from Buffalo, New York, Adam Perry, whose expertise mainly lies in providing clients in the marijuana industry with sound insights and advice regarding the goings-on in the sector.
The latest appointment was made on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. Prior to this, the newly inaugurated governor of New York, Governor Kathy Hochul, who took the place of Governor Andrew Cuomo after his resignation, has also started her first appointments on the first of September 2021.
Governor Kathy Hochul’s decision to make two key regulatory appointments comes as the state intends to “jumpstart” marijuana legalization in New York, reports Marijuana Moment.
The two appointments that were made by Governor Hochul include former New York Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright and former Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) member Christopher Alexander. Both of these key appointments were immediately approved by the State Senate in a special hearing.
Marijuana Moment states that Wright will be the chairman of the Cannabis Control Board, while Alexander will take the executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management of New York.
In a statement, Alexander said, “We’re definitely excited that the governor has prioritized rolling this out. We had a six-month delay – we’re behind six months already – and so the [governor’s] priority, she’s been very clear that she wants to get this going.”
Meanwhile, in a separate press release, Governor Hochul said, “One of my top priorities is to finally get New York’s cannabis industry up and running – this has been long overdue, but we’re going to make up for lost time.”
Regarding the two appointments, Governor Hochul remarked, “These two individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new roles, and I know they will do a tremendous job of outlining and implementing regulations that are safe, fair and transparent, and that recognize the need to remedy the impact that prohibition has had on communities of color.”
In the press release, Governor Hochul also criticized the failure of the previous leader, Cuomo, to announce a director or elect officials to their post, leading to the delay of the marijuana legalization movement in the state.
Cuomo resigned in August due to sexual harassment allegations, leading to a delay in the appointment process to the Cannabis Control Board.
Just recently, former state Senator Jen Metzger and Buffalo attorney Adam Perry are the two latest appointments to join the Cannabis Control Board. According to Spectrum News 1, these appointments are made by the state Legislature.
In particular, Perry’s appointment was due to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. The New York Post states that Heastie was given the privilege to choose one of the five members to join the Cannabis Control Board of New York.
Perry works as a partner at Hodgson Russ Law Firm. He specializes in Cannabis & Hemp, as well as Canada and US Cross-Border affairs, reveals the New York Post.
Meanwhile, the appointment of former state Senator Jen Metzger was largely due to the appointment of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said Spectrum News 1.
Metzger hails from the Hudson Valley. She is a former lawmaker and an Ulster County Democrat, states Record Online. She has experience in handling cannabis in the industry after she has sponsored and helped pass a bill that covered CBD products and their production, processing, and sale, reports Times Union.
Besides this, the Times Union also revealed that Metzger has passed a legislation that focuses on local farmers as well as formed a community that highlighted the need to take climate-friendly methods in addressing local government needs.
Of her appointment, Stewart-Cousins said that Metzger is someone who “understands the need to create a market that provides opportunities for New York’s small farmers, encourages sustainable, environmentally sound agricultural practices and ensures equity and market access for the communities that suffered the most under prohibition.”
Other members of the board are yet to be chosen. Those who are responsible for making the pick include Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Governor Hochul. Stewart-Cousins will be tasked to choose one member, while Governor Hochul is expected to choose two, states the New York Post.
More About the Cannabis Control Board
The Cannabis Control Board of New York will be the primary task force that will overseeing the commercial cannabis industry. They are tasked with regulating the marijuana landscape, as well as approving licenses for retailers, distributors, and cannabis growers, and providing an actual application process for applicants.
In total, the Cannabis Control Board will be comprised of five members. Three of these will be appointed by the Governor, while the remaining two will be appointed by the Senate and the Assembly respectively. Those appointed will have a term of three years.
On top of these, the Cannabis Control Board are also in charge of how cannabis products are packaged and advertised to the public.
The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), to be led by Chris Alexander, will be the office responsible for launching the legal cannabis industry in the state of New York. According to Marijuana Moment, this agency is an independent organization within the New York State Liquor Authority.
Besides launching the cannabis program in the state, the Office of Cannabis Management will also take charge of the existing medical marijuana and hemp programs in the state.
What Cannabis Legalization Brings to New York
With the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state, New York is expected to generate approximately $300 million in annual tax revenues.
Apart from this, the industry is also slated to create around 60,000 jobs for the people of New York, bringing with it a promise of $3.5 billion worth of economic activity, maintains Marijuana Moment.
With the delay of the appointments and the changing political landscape in New York, the purchase of adult-use marijuana can be affected as well. It can take as long as 18 months, albeit the government is already looking to fast track these with the appointments made to the board.