Hochul: Launching Recreational Marijuana Industry a Priority

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is making it a priority to get the state’s recreational marijuana market off the ground.

Although former Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act into law last March, he held off on nominating an executive director to the Office of Cannabis Management or naming anyone to the Cannabis Control Board, reportedly due to a dispute with the state Senate over the failure of legislation he proposed for the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

“Nominating and confirming individuals with diverse experiences and subject matter expertise, who are representative of communities from across the state, to the Cannabis Control Board is a priority for Gov. Hochul,” spokesperson,Jordan Bennett told The New York Post on Thursday.

“We look forward to working with the legislature to keep this process moving forward.”

Hochul has spoken with two prominent Democratic state legislators, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, about her intentions to move forward with establishing the recreational marijuana market in the state, according to the news outlet.

“They have spoken about the need to make appointments to the board,” said Mike Murphy, a spokesman for Stewart-Cousins.

Hochul during a closed-door meeting with Hestie and Stewart-Cousins earlier this week expressed her intention to make recreational marijuana a priority clear, according to Hestie.

“She did say that that was something that she wanted us all to concentrate on — and we agreed,” he said.

New York farmers recently expressed concerns to local news outlets about the lack of movement on the Cannabis Control Board.

“We’re still waiting for the regulations and that ambiguity sometimes, it puts you on your heels,” Frank Popolizio, the owner of Homestead Farms, told Spectrum News 1 Buffalo on Thursday.

“We don’t know what to do, to get ready or prepare. Are we going to be candidates, because we’ve been farming hemp and cannabis already? Does that give us an edge?”

He added, “Finally, there’s an industry where the farming world can prosper, and hopefully we don’t lose track of that in this particular process.”

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