New York Gov. Orders Audit of Cannabis Industry Program

Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York has ordered an extensive audit of the state’s cannabis regulations and the botched roll-out of the adult-use industry.

Full story after the jump.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has ordered a top-down review of the state’s adult-use cannabis program amid rampant unlicensed sales and multi-month delays to the industry, the Associated Press reports.

For the review, the governor has tasked Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner Jeanette Moy and other state officials to embed with cannabis industry regulators and identify ways to speed up cannabis licensing and further optimize the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).

New York legalized cannabis for adults aged 21 and older in 2021 but at the end of 2022, just 80 companies had launched in the state, the report said. The cannabis licensing process faced numerous delays due to a series of lawsuits targeting the industry’s social equity licensing provisions.

“We have built a cannabis market based on equity, and there is a lot to be proud of. At the same time, there is more we can do to improve OCM’s operations and we know Commissioner Moy, a proven leader in government, will help us get where we need to be.” — Chris Alexander, OCM Executive Director, via the AP

Hochul previously labeled the industry’s roll-out a “disaster,” critiquing the slow launch for benefiting unregulated retailers and hamstringing legal operators.

Meanwhile, state officials last month approved new cannabis home grow rules — the provisions, which are currently undergoing a 60-day public comment period, would allow adults to grow up to six mature and six immature cannabis plants at their home.

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