By Imani A. Dawson
On March 31st, Governor Cuomo signed the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation (MRTA) into law, conceived as one of the nation’s most equitable. The law has the potential to create the country's largest legal cannabis industry and mitigate the harms experienced by Black and brown communities in the process.
Three months later, legalization has stalled in New York. Elected officials have taken no clear and public steps to create the promised cannabis industry grounded in social justice, economic equity, and environmental renewal. Every day that goes by without the administrative structure in place to implement the MRTA harms New Yorkers. The lack of transparency around selection criteria and lack of action around proposing candidates undermines this historic victory.
New York Cannabis United (NYCU), a coalition of New York cannabis advocacy organizations, businesses, farmers, aspiring entrepreneurs and people disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition, is calling on both the Cuomo Administration and New York State Legislators to uphold the promises made in the new law by swiftly appointing leadership to the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) leadership who represent the geographic and cultural diversity of New York state.
Read the full letter below.
Dear Governor Cuomo and New York Lawmakers:
We are a dedicated group of New York cannabis law reform and advocacy organizations, trade associations, businesses, farmers, aspiring entrepreneurs, concerned individuals, and people negatively impacted by the racially disparate application of cannabis laws and policies. We have come together to call upon every elected official in New York with control over implementation of legislation, from the Governor to the Senate and the Assembly, to reconvene and appoint appropriate leadership to the Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis without further delay.
Governor Cuomo heralded the victory of NY’s new Cannabis Law, the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act, signed into law on 31 March 2021 stating: "This was one of …