NY Cannabis Rollout

Perhaps last week, the NY cannabis rollout has finally come to a head, but that is the optimist in me. It is still unclear to me, and most others, how exactly the Office of Cannabis Management was set up during the Cuomo administration and precisely what rules and regs Hochul inherited.

Who actually gets to make decisions, how do they get made, and why is there a void in the leadership? There have been countless lawsuits and inconsistent decisions made. But again, this is what I read, what I hear, and how Gotham has attempted to wade through all of it.

Last week, Hochul finally blew a gasket. She called the rollout of New York State’s cannabis program a “disaster,” and said that it was unlikely the program could be fixed without significant changes to the cannabis legalization law itself. The comments were made in response to questions from the editorial board of the Buffalo News. “It’s not every street corner,” Hochul said, referring to illegal retailers in New York City. “It is every other storefront. It is insane. It is about time.

Regardless of everything that has come before, people inside the walls of this administration should want to make the Governor happy. The taxes and jobs lost over the past two years are unacceptable. That is, first and foremost, as it should be. Gotham Gives is supporting Hospitality Pathways, an organization that serves the cannabis, hospitality, and leisure industries with a program led by Beatrice Stein. Gotham has hired from this organization. People in underserved communities see the opportunities in these new businesses. This last cohort had 700 people apply for 20 seats. These are the jobs that create change. If all of these applicants can see it, why can’t the state get these licenses out so we can hire these people?

I continue to be optimistic but it is not easy.