NY Cannabis Insider’s Week on Legal Weed June 11, 2022
Weekend greetings, everyone!
Last week, NY Cannabis Insider ran a slew of stories about the progress — and in some cases, the shortcomings — of the state’s legal marijuana market. Let’s take a look at some of the stories we’ve been tracking:
On Thursday, we organized a story by Brad Racino This begs an important question: if NY wants to create the most equitable cannabis industry in the United States, why are the state’s own positions vacant?
As Brad points out in the article, the state’s Office of Cannabis Management has yet to hire a director of equity, and a 13-member advisory board to help the CMO and Council of cannabis control remains vacant. This despite the requirement of MRTA, the positions are filled and the fact that OCM is still ahead of the roll-out of regulations and the start of legal sales by the fall.
A CMO spokesperson told Brad that the agency was “working hard” to find a candidate for director of equity and was “nearly at the end of that process.” It is unclear when the members of the advisory board will be appointed. A spokesperson for Governor Hochul’s office previously said he expected the council to begin meeting in May, but had no substantive update as of last week.
In a survey piece we ran this weekBrad has delved into allegations of medical marijuana patients and argues that OCM is letting New York’s medical program crumble as it focuses its attention on creating a recreational market.
Stakeholders who spoke to NY Cannabis Insider said patients were experiencing long delays in enrolling in the medical program and many were unable to get the care they needed. Meanwhile, OCM has been plagued by technology issues and ignored patient concerns (according to patients) while trying to catch up after a delayed start in establishing the leisure market.
Antoine Scottifounding partner of the Colorado-based genetics brand Cherrywrote a column for us arguing that NY will fare better than other states that have legalized weed. Scotti thinks the state has already established a decent foundation to avoid issues that have plagued other legal states like market saturation, product overflow or shortage, and declining revenue.
We also organized a column invited by Scott Mazzaco-founder and COO of Buffalo’s CBD Vitality, in which Mazza advocates improving quality control for the New York CBD market. Mazza writes that some CBD suppliers ignore rules regarding quality and extraction. Hemp regulatory oversights have resulted in oils containing heavy metals and salves with fake organic credentials reaching store shelves.
Finally, the NY Cannabis Insider Summer Intern Andres Rendon made a Q&A with Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra on the shortcomings of the MRTA regarding the enforcement of the under-21 law. Sinagra has directed its department not to seize cannabis from anyone under the age of 21, saying “there are currently no mechanisms in place to enforce simple possession in small quantities” for this age group. .
More to come next week!