As Andrew Cuomo resigns as the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul is slated to take her place as the next governor of the state. Despite the tumultuous change in the political landscape of N.Y., news sites believe that the change in leadership can not only continue the state’s road to legalization, but also hasten the process of cannabis sales.
According to CNBC, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation just last Tuesday, August 10, 2021, after reports of sexual misconduct and abuse on 11 women. Prior to this, the news site reveals that his sexual harassment practices have already been under review. He is slated to leave the office in two weeks on August 24, 2021.
Following this, Kathy Hochul will be taking the position of governor in New York. She has been elected as the lieutenant governor in 2014.
Even before Hochul is slated to take her place as the new leader of New York, a number of lobbyists have already approached her, including Kasirer on behalf of Columbia Care, Inc., a cannabis dispensary that operates in various locations including the state.
CNBC reports that Kasirer made contact with Hochul between May and June 2021, with the company intent on building a solid relationship regarding the movement towards cannabis legalization in the state, particularly as Hochul will now be handling the implementation of the policy.
NBC New York states that Hochul will be left in establishing the Office of Cannabis Management to oversee the regulation of the recreational cannabis market.
Prior to this, Governor Cuomo already signed a bill in March 2020 that approves the legalization of marijuana and the approval of recreational cannabis use in the state, shares CNBC.
Thankfully, Leafly states that the current lieutenant governor is all for marijuana legalization. While Cuomo is known to be quite hesitant in this approach, Hochul states that the move was “long overdue” in her interview with Cheddar last January 2021.
In her interview with Cheddar, Hochul said of the legalization that New York “need[s] the money. People who were reluctant before didn’t join us in promoting this. Now, all of a sudden, you’re saying, ‘Well, I guess because of COVID, with a $15 billion budget deficit, we need to find money anywhere we can.”
Hochul also states that the project $300 million that marijuana legalization will bring in can help the state. “We’ve had an unjust system for so long, so we’re really excited about getting this passed as part of the budget. Once we do, we’ll join the other states that are finally enlightened enough to realize that this should be legalized,” voiced Hochul in her Cheddar interview.
With Hochul’s positive outlook and embracement of cannabis legalization, Benzinga shares that they are hopeful for a faster and more efficient rollout of cannabis products in the state, even earlier than the timeline provided by Cuomo.
Benzinga states that Hochul taking over the new position could pose benefits for companies that already have existing medical marijuana licenses in the state, with a particular focus on bringing in more profits than ever.