New York’s Committee on Open Government last week issued an advisory opinion outlining concerns that the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) is not following the state’s open meeting rules. The committee pointed to two OCM meetings for which notice was provided less than a week in advance.
The opinion was issued at the request of Tim Mitchell, a medical cannabis patient, who was concerned about OCM and Dormitory Authority public meeting practices.
The opinion was first reported by Syracuse.com.
One meeting was focused on the OCM’s consideration of a “Limited Partnership Agreement (LPA) to be entered into the New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund L.P” which the agency said, “was a time-sensitive matter.” The other, also scheduled less than a week in advance, was to discuss “recent developments in pending litigation and employee related matters.”
“Ultimately, whether the circumstances justify a public body scheduling a meeting less than one week in advance and upon less than seventy-two hours of notice is a fact specific determination that can only appropriately be made by the judiciary.” — Committee on Open Government, Jan. 20, 2023
The committee also points to a December meeting where OCM members entered into an executive session – which allows them to meet out of public view – but no reason was given by OCM members to enter the session.
“…As such, the motion failed to inform the public that the topic or topics for discussion in such session fell under one of the enumerated grounds for entry into an executive session,” the committee said in the report.
Mitchell, in an interview with Syracuse.com, described the committee’s response as “good” and that the board “acknowledged that some things didn’t happen the way they probably should have.”
Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe