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New interim leadership at New York’s top cannabis regulator

Plus, good news for Slovenian home growers!

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Good morning.

There is never a dull moment in cannabis. That’s especially true for cannabis in New York. 

Yesterday, we learned of some major moves at the top of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management. And, if you’re up for it, New York’s Cannabis Control Board meets later today and you can watch it online. We’ll “see” you there!

Let’s get to it.

-CB & JR

This newsletter is 734 words or about an 4-minute read.

💡What’s the big deal?

New York’s cannabis shakeup continues

Driving the news: New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced three new leadership appointments at the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). Felicia A. B. Reid will fill Chris Alexander’s newly vacant position as Executive Deputy Director and Acting Executive Director. 

Susan Filburn has been appointed as Chief Administrative Officer to refine administrative functions and streamline the licensing process, while Jessica Woolford has been promoted to Director of External Affairs, focusing on community engagement and transparency.

Rewind: Earlier the year, Governor Kathy Hochul called the cannabis roll-out in New York a “disaster.”  So, Hochul called for an investigation into the program and the agency that oversees it.

One pillar of helping the roll-out was to increase enforcement on illicit cannabis shops. (See what NYC Mayor Eric Adams is doing to padlock unlicensed shops in the City.) 

Another pillar was to light a fire under the OCM: Chris Alexander, who was appointed as the head of the OCM in 2021, submitted his resignation in May. His departure came on the heels of the investigation commissioned by Hochul. 

What they’re saying:  “I’m committed to ensuring New York’s nation-leading cannabis market continues to thrive. With these new appointees, the Office of Cannabis Management will continue to focus on expanding the most equitable adult-use market in the nation while cracking down on illicit storefronts,” Hochul said

What’s next: In the immediate future, the OCM’s new acting leadership will implement changes based on the Office of General Service’s 31-page report released last month that detailed some of the agency’s missteps under Alexander. 

In the longer-term, Hochul has initiated a nationwide search for a permanent Executive Director to lead NY’s cannabis agency. 


💬 Quote of the day

“Look, if my daughters could go out and buy a pint of whiskey or a menthol cigarette—we know what we’re up against,” US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said at a recent event in Sacramento when asked about the status of cannabis’ rescheduling. “And let’s be real: You can’t incarcerate your way to a solution here. You can regulate it. And if you regulate it the right way, which we’re supposed to do for alcohol and cigarettes and all the rest, then we can manage it. But we have to make a decision…”

Quick hits

US Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, predicts that Florida voters will pass their legalization initiative — Amendment 3 — in November. However, even though state-level legalization puts pressure on Congress to address federal cannabis policy questions, he doesn’t expect the SAFE Banking Act to pass by November, he told The Dales Report

RAW founder Josh Kesselman wants to take his company public in a unique way, by selling shares through a QR code in packs of RAW rolling papers, he told Green Market Report he wants  to create a community of shareholders who are also product consumers.

Slovenian voters approved two cannabis-related ballot measures: One which allows all adults to grow cannabis at home, and a second other specifically for medical patients. However, these outcomes are not binding on lawmakers and are merely advisory. Read more here

Glass Pharms distributed its first batch of domestically-grown medical cannabis to its UK clients, according to the Business of Cannabis. The UK market has long been constrained by its reliance on imports.

New research published in the journal Nature Mental Health shows that cannabis-associated psychotic symptoms (CAPS) are significantly more common in observational and experimental research (19% and 21% respectively) compared to medicinal cannabis studies (2%).

📰 What we’re reading

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