ALBANY – The group tasked with regulating New York State’s cannabis industry met for the first time Tuesday, focusing on how they plan to keep the public informed on the regulation process.
Last month, New York’s Governor issued her final appointments to the Cannabis Control Board, a commission charged with approving a comprehensive regulatory framework for the state.
Board Chair Tremaine Wright, a former state Assembly member, was introduced as well as the remaining five board members. These include Jessica García, Reuben McDaniel III, Jen Metzger Ph.D., and Adam Perry. Additionally, Executive Director Chris Alexander and Chief Equity Officer Jason Starr were introduced.
The Board’s main goals include social justice, public health and safety, as well as economic development.
Board member Jessica García, President of board of directors of the NYS Committee for Occupational Safety and Health hopes that the cannabis industry will be an, “opportunity to bring good jobs to New Yorkers.” (5 mins)
Similarly, board member, Jen Metzger, Ph.D., who formerly represented the 42nd District in the State Senate. believes cannabis, “offers huge opportunities to our farmers, including small farmers, young farmers, historically underrepresented farmers, and farmers who have been struggling economically.”
Board member Adam Perry has strong ties to Buffalo and is currently a partner at Hodgson Russ LLP focusing on employment litigation. He discussed key details of the control board’s ethical considerations process, including its intention to retain an independent law firm to draft bylaws and develop a comprehensive ethics framework to guide Cannabis Board operations.
The Executive Director’s Report explained actions that will be taken on the adult-use program, medical program, and the Cannabinoid (CBD) Hemp Program.
The adult-use program’s main goals are to fully staff the Office of Cannabis Management as well as prioritize outreach and public education campaigns. It will also establish a social equity program.
The Executive Director stated that the medical program as well as the CBD and Hemp program will transition away from the Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management which will maintain and expand the program.
“The MRTA represents a shift towards a public health framework for cannabis policy, grounded in the principles of public safety, social justice, and economic development. Prioritized social and economic equity and works to repair the harms of the War on Drugs.”
The Board’s public outreach will include information on enhancements to the medical program, provisions of the law, important public health and safety messages to prevent drugged-driving, educating patients on safe storage of their cannabis products, and underscoring the risks and special considerations for youth-use, and pregnant and breast-feeding individuals use.
All meetings will be made available to the public at www.cannabis.ny.gov.