A bill introduced last week by Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Cooney would allow licensed cannabis cultivators to start growing their crops prior to the launch of the formal program, creating provisional licenses that would allow businesses to operate if the Office of Cannabis Management doesn’t propagate program rules by January 1.
“Now that NY legalized cannabis, I’m proposing provisional cannabis licenses to fulfill the economic justice promises we made, so that farmers will be able to put seeds in the ground and create new economic opportunities.” — Cooney via Twitter
Cooney, who co-chairs the Black Puerto Rican Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus’ Marijuana Task Force, added that the bill would allow “farmers to put seed in the ground so that the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana are not delayed for another growing season.”
“We passed adult-use recreational marijuana with the promise of investing in communities most negatively impacted by the failed war on drugs,” he said in a statement. “This bill allows us to start fulfilling that promise by creating a supply chain of products for retailers in the new economy.”
So far, at least two New York municipal governments—Middletown and Watertown— have already opted out of allowing adult-use cannabis operations. Lawmakers in both cities can opt back into the program. Officials from both Middletown and Watertown said they wanted to take a wait-and-see approach before deciding to allow cannabis operations.
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