Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Will Legal Marijuana in New York get a boost with a new Governor?

Say what you will about Cuomo, but there’s no denying that after an initial push, he certainly dragged his feet on getting a legal marijuana market off the ground in the state of New York.

So one of the bigger questions with a new Governor is seeing how well she does on taking up the baton.

Next week, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will replace Governor Cuomo, and there’s lots to accomplish. For one, there has been no one named for the Cannabis Control Board or even members for the Office of Cannabis Management. This essentially means none of the due diligence has even begun.

“Just a few short weeks ago, Gov. Cuomo was unable to come to terms with members of the Legislature on appointments to the Cannabis Control Board,” says Karl Sleight, a leader in cannabis practice at Harris Beach. “You’ll see Hochul and the Legislature working hard on common interests. I expect positive movement once she gets her team in place.”

Hochul will almost certainly be running for the Governor position in 2022 when up for re-election, and getting behind marijuana will score plenty of bipartisan political points, making it a win-win for her.

One of the more progressive parts of the bill is the vow to have 50% of the licenses go towards people of color and/or woman-owned businesses. It’s a steep goal, so this will be especially interesting to see how she traverses in this territory.

There is hope that assigning members to the Office of Cannabis Management becomes a priority for Hochul as soon as she becomes Governor, and there are many keeping a close eye on the situation. Despite the grotesque and shameful way Cuomo had to leave office, a new push towards a legal marijuana market in the state may be the greatest silver lining within the entire situation.

Read the original story at Albany Business Review.

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