NY State Cannabis Management Inaugural Annual Report

Introductory Letter from the Chair of the Cannabis Control Board

Dear Governor Hochul, Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, and all New Yorkers, It’s incredibly exciting to be delivering our first annual report to you on the activities of the New York Cannabis Control Board (Board) and the Office of Cannabis Management (Office).

It was just a little more than a year ago that I was confirmed by the New York Senate to Chair the Board and we started the process of building the legal cannabis industry in our state from the ground up. Here in New York, we’re taking a different approach from other states.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act that enacted our State’s Cannabis Law and amended a number of our other laws on March 31, 2021, holds at its center the goal of delivering a cannabis industry that offsets the harms caused by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

It is our job to live up to the law’s ambitious goals, and in our first year, I’m proud to say, we’ve set the course on doing just that. With Governor Kathy Hochul’s support for the New York Seeding Opportunity Initiative, we set up our initial legal cannabis supply chain by relying on New York’s family farmers to grow the first adult-use cannabis in New York.

Their products will be sold at dispensaries owned and operated by New Yorkers with business experience who were directly impacted by cannabis prohibition by either being arrested themselves or having a close family member who was arrested.

Meanwhile, as we’ve lifted the adult-use industry off the ground, we’ve also worked to expand our Medical Cannabis Program and implement rules and licenses for the Cannabinoid Hemp Program. In fact, among our first actions as a Board was improving access to the medical program, including allowing the sale of lower-cost whole flower products and expanding the types of health care providers who can certify patients.

Since then, we’ve allowed health care providers to determine if medical cannabis may be best for their patient rather than picking from a list of predetermined illnesses.

We continue to expand the program with new regulations under consideration that would allow for automatic registration, streamlining the process for a patient to become certified. Additionally, the Cannabinoid Hemp Program has now licensed 3,265 CBD retailers, 50 processors, and 475 distributors, and continues to expand under new rules designed to provide consumers with clarity and improve product quality.

At the center of all this work is our focus on equity and inclusivity. The market we’re building will support equity applicants to ensure they’re not only ready to open a business, but also positioned for the type of long-term success that builds generational wealth.

As the industry evolves, it will generate new resources for our communities and our schools, and I look forward to seeing those resources reinvested and the transformation they will help support.

This report is being delivered with the goal of operating transparently and providing New Yorkers with a window into our work. While it reflects the work we have already done, we’re also just getting started and there is much more to come. Thank you! Sincerely,

 

FULL REPORT

ocm-annual-report-2022

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