New York Regulators Remove Video of Meeting Where Community is Critical of Adult-Use Rollout

The New York Office of Cannabis Management has removed a video from its YouTube channel that contained heated criticisms of the state’s adult-use cannabis program roll-out. Regulators said they are planning to re-upload the video.

Full story after the jump.

In a video previously posted online of its September 12 meeting, New York’s Office of Cannabis Management scrubbed the public comment period, which included complaints about the rollout of the adult-use cannabis program by growers, retailers, and licensees, according to report by The City. As of Wednesday morning, the video was no longer available on YouTube, with an error message saying it had been “removed by the uploader.” 

Comments removed from the video, prior to it being taken offline, included those by Tess Interlicchia, a cannabis farmer, who told the Cannabis Control Board that her business has “lost millions of dollars.”   

“We’ve done everything right and I can’t feed my children. I sold my tractors to the farm in January. It’s now September. I have nothing left to sell.” — Interlicchia via The City 

In a response to Jeff Jones, a licensed cultivator in the state, about why the public comments were removed, Aaron Ghitelman, the spokesperson for the Office of Cannabis Management, said the comment period was removed because officials were “Trying not to amplify the threats of self-harm/ violence that occurred during the meeting,” the report says.  

According to The City report, during the public comment period, one farmer said she “wore a noose around her neck” the day of the meeting because she felt like she was “gonna hang” herself. 

In a statement to The City, Ghitelman said “The Office of Cannabis Management is in the process of editing the video of the recent Cannabis Control Board meeting to remove a short section during which an individual made a threat of self-harm and violence” and that “the full video, absent these comments, will be posted once the editing process is complete.” 

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