High hopes: Where does New York’s cannabis industry stand?

New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Kathy Hochul is bringing the issue of recreational marijuana back to the forefront with Thursday’s special legislative session. With the possible approval of the nominees for the Cannabis Control Board, where does New York’s cannabis industry stand now?

New York became the 15th state to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in March 2021.

“We could see one of the most successful, thriving, and diverse marketplaces and industries in the entire world for cannabis,” Kaelen Castetter, Vice President of the New York Cannabis and Processors Association, said.

Although thrilled with the possibility of a flourishing cannabis market, Castetter—and much of the cannabis industry—isn’t happy with what’s happened since then.

“What needed to happen after the bill passed was the regulatory body being created and set up,” Castetter said. “Under our previous Governor Cuomo those efforts were stalled.”

However, he’s hopeful that Hochul can move things forward by calling today’s special session.

Although the MRTA—Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act—was pushed through months ago, the finalization of the nominees for the Cannabis Control Board and the Executive Director of the new Office of Cannabis Management is necessary to roll out licensing and sales.

“But really, this is just the beginning of the large amount of work ahead in order to actually establish this marketplace,” Castetter said.

Castetter said the overall timeline could be pushed back until the next legislative session if the nominees aren’t approved during the extraordinary session. In that case, New York wouldn’t see an active recreational market until 2023.

“Now, I think it’s very likely we’re looking at the of 2022, if not mid-2022,” Castatter said. “I’m hopeful.”

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