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Months after legalization, New York remains without a cannabis industry

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Marijuana has been legal for more than five months, yet there’s still no cannabis industry set up in New York.

The governor and the legislative leaders still have to appoint the remaining members of the cannabis control board, which is a part of the newly formed Office of Cannabis Management.

The executive director of OCM, and the chairperson of the control board, have both been appointed and confirmed. But it’s unclear whether the remaining positions have been filled.

Here’s a breakdown of how the board works.

The governor appoints the chair and two board members. The temporary president of the senate and the assembly speaker each get an appointee. The members of the board don’t need any confirmation by the legislature. They are automatically confirmed upon appointment.

Some lawmakers have been critical of how the state legalized marijuana before regulating it.

The board would likely have to be confirmed before policies, regulations, and licenses are created.

One lawmaker told me that this will only cause people to flock to the black market, or to a neighboring state where marijuana is also legal, such as New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Republican assemblyman Robert Smullen says the longer New York takes, the further ahead other states become in the marijuana business.

We knew that there was a big black market in New York State already. And now because it’s legalized, the structures aren’t in place. We’re gonna have a grey market for quite some time until it’s up and running.

We did reach out to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office about this. All we were told by a spokesperson is that the Office of Cannabis Management is ramping up, without providing any specific details.

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