Potential cannabis businesses waiting for regulators to be named
Rebekah F. Ward reports in the Times Union that anyone hoping to open a cannabis business in New York is waiting for the five members of the Cannabis Control Board, and the executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management, to be named and approved by legislators in Albany. New York made recreational cannabis legal April 1, but it is expected to take up to two years for sales to begin. The state legislative session ends next week. “I’m hopeful, and it’s my desire that we can do it before the end of session, so that we can get to work in formulating the regulations and the processes that folks will have to go through to access licenses,” said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. The governor appoints the OCM’s executive director and three control board members, including its chair, while Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins each appoint one board member. “I'm worried because the legislative intent of this bill is to support New Yorkers, to support those who have been decimated by the war on drugs,” said Kaelan Castetter, a co-founder and vice president of the New York Growers and Processors Association. “Crystal Peoples-Stokes has been very clear about that. [Assembly Member] Donna Lupardo has been very clear about that, (and) Sen. Liz Krueger. But it's out of their hands once it goes to the Cannabis Control Board, and once it goes to the OCM. So I'm ambivalent on what this really can mean for all of us until we see who gets nominated.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.