New York’s Office of Cannabis Management Overhaul by Hochul

The TDR Three Key Takeaways regarding New York’s Office of Cannabis Management and Governor Hochul:

  1. The Office of Cabbabis’s redirection under Kathy Hochul aims to streamline cannabis operations.
  2. New Cannabis Enforcement Task Force set to combat illegal operations.
  3. Criticism arises over delayed reforms within New York’s cannabis sector.

On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has introduced comprehensive reforms to enhance operations within the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and address the illegal cannabis market. These changes aim to improve the efficiency of cannabis licensing and enforcement across the state.

Under Governor Kathy Hochul’s guidance and following an assessment by Jeanette Moy, the OCM has pinpointed several structural inefficiencies impeding its effectiveness. The Governor’s strategy involves redirecting the agency towards more efficient methods that promote improved communication and quicker processing of cannabis licenses. “It’s about pointing O.C.M. in a new direction and implementing solutions that work for everyone,” Governor Hochul stated, underscoring the shift toward more proactive and responsive governance.

A key element of these reforms is the creation of a new New York Cannabis Enforcement Task Force, led by the State Police. This task force focuses on eliminating illegal cannabis operations, which have flourished alongside the legal market. By shutting down unauthorized storefronts and clamping down on cannabis trafficking, the task force strives to safeguard the integrity of the state’s expanding legal cannabis market.

Additionally, Governor Kathy Hochul has unveiled a $5 million grant program to aid CAURD licensees who have suffered due to previous licensing delays exacerbated by ongoing litigation. This financial aid emphasizes the state’s commitment to creating an equitable marketplace, recognizing and addressing past bureaucratic holdups.

Jeanette Moy, tasked with overseeing this transition, stressed the urgency of these reforms: “We have to fix the process. We have to clear the backlog. We need to get these legal cannabis stores up and running.” Her remarks accentuate the pressing need for operational changes to expedite the introduction of more licensed dispensaries into the market.

Despite these initiatives, there has been criticism regarding the timing and implementation of these reforms. State Senator Liz Krueger voiced her frustration with the delayed actions, noting, “I know for a fact that the executive director was consistently asking for more staff and more help, and they were completely ignored… So I feel like the governor should have done this 18 months ago. And I wish that they had listened to the agency.”

Governor Kathy Hochul’s overhaul of the OCM demonstrates a decisive and necessary action in response to the challenges facing New York’s legal cannabis market. By improving regulatory frameworks, enhancing enforcement against illegal activities, and supporting impacted businesses, the state seeks to establish a stronger and fairer market that benefits all New Yorkers. Want to keep up to date with all of TDR’s research and news, subscribe to our daily Baked In newsletter. 

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