Greetings from the weekend to everyone!
Last week, NY Cannabis Insider published a bunch of stories that tracked the progress, and in some cases, the weaknesses, of the state’s legal marijuana market. Let’s take a look at some of the stories we’ve been following:
On Thursday we did a story Brad Racino this raises an important question: if NY wants to create the most equitable cannabis industry in the U.S., why are state capital positions vacant?
As Brad points out in the article, the state’s Cannabis Management Office has not yet hired a share capital director, and a 13-member advisory board to help the CMO and the Cannabis Control Board still vacant. This, despite the MRTA requirement, positions are covered and the fact that the CMO is still well advanced in implementing regulations and starting legal sales in the fall.
An OCM spokesman told Brad that the agency is “working” to find a candidate for capital director and that they are “almost at the end of this process”. It is unclear when the members of the advisory board will be appointed. A spokesman for Governor Hochul’s office said earlier that they expected the board to start meeting in May, but that it had no substantial updates last week.
In a piece of research we published this week, Brad sinks with complaints from medical marijuana patients and argues that the CMO is letting the New York medical program sink while focusing on creating of a recreational market.
Stakeholders who spoke to NY Cannabis Insider said patients are experiencing long delays in enrolling in the medical program and many are unable to get the care they need. Meanwhile, CMO has been plagued by technological problems and has been ignoring the concerns of patients (according to patients) while trying to catch up after a delayed start in the establishment of the recreational market.
Antoni Scotti, a founding partner of the Colorado-based genetics brand Cherry, wrote a column for us arguing that NY will do better than other states that have legalized weeds. Scotti believes the state has already laid a decent foundation to avoid problems that have affected other legal states such as market saturation, overflow or product shortages and falling incomes.
We also did a guest column Scott Mazza, Co-founder and COO of Buffalo’s Vitality CBD, in which Mazza advocates improving quality control for the New York CBD market. Mazza writes that some CBD vendors ignore the rules about quality and extraction. Supervisions in hemp regulation have resulted in heavy metal oils and ointments with fake organic credentials reaching store shelves.
Finally, the NY Cannabis Insider Summer Fellow Andrés Rendón asked a question and answer with Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra about MRTA gaps regarding law enforcement for under-21s. Sinagra has ordered his department not to confiscate any cannabis from people under the age of 21, saying “there is currently no mechanism to enforce mere possession in small quantities” for this age group.
More will come next week!