Suddenly: New York Appoints Heads of Marijuana Control Commission and Office of Marijuana Administration
Finally, New York began to formalize the cannabis industry by appointing the chairman of the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and the executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).
Consistent with her public statement, Governor Kathy Hochul initiated the process Via callback The New York legislature held a “special meeting” to consider several major issues, including the appointment of CCB and OCM.
Therefore, on September 1, 2021, the New York Legislature Officially recognized Appointed Tremaine Wright as Chairman of CCB and Christopher Alexander as Executive Director of OCM. Please meet our new chairman and executive director and briefly introduce their respective backgrounds and a summary of the main responsibilities of each role:
Chairman of CCB: Tremaine Wright
What we know:
Ms. Wright is a native of Brooklyn and an attorney who was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2016. Her area encompasses the Bedford-Stevenson neighborhood of Brooklyn and the northern part of Crown Heights. She graduated from Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School, and practiced in the Brooklyn Legal Services Department.
With an excellent educational background and experience as a practicing lawyer, as well as her legislative experience, Ms. Wright seems very suitable for formulating MRTA rules and regulations, with a focus on social and economic equity plans.
Common responsibilities of the chairman of CCB and CCB:
- Restrict or unrestrict the number of registrations, licenses, and licenses for each type of license issued within a state or any political division.
- Establish standards and requirements for medical marijuana, marijuana for adults and marijuana products, and cannabinoid marijuana and cannabis extracts.
- Create registration, permit and permit application forms and all reports deemed necessary by CCB.
- The general power to exercise the powers and obligations required to establish an MRTA, even if not specifically listed.
- Establish minimum standards for certified employees in positions requiring advanced training in the cannabis industry.
- Advising OCM and/or urban development companies in providing low-interest or zero-interest loans to qualified social and economic equity applicants.
- Approve any price quotas or price controls set by the executive director
- Approve OCM’s social equity plan.
- After receiving OCM’s advice and related application information, a preliminary decision is made on whether the registration, license, or license should be issued, rejected or retained for further action.
- Full discretion to revoke, cancel or suspend licenses and impose civil penalties (by hearing)
OCM Executive Director: Christopher Alexander
What we know: Mr. Alexander is also a native New Yorker and lawyer. Mr. Alexander is the head of government relations and policy for the cannabis company Vill LLC, a multi-state cannabis company based in Canada. He is also the Deputy Legal Counsel of the New York State Senate and the Policy Coordinator of the Drug Policy Coalition.
As the policy coordinator of the Drug Policy Alliance, Mr. Alexander should be very suitable to solve the complex problems of the implementation of New York cannabis regulations. He has also participated in the negotiation and drafting of multiple versions of the MRTA, which should also help to develop a set of complementary and consistent rules and regulations for the industry.
Responsibilities of OCM Executive Director:
- The powers of the Marijuana Administration Office are exercised by the executive director.
- The general power to promote the objectives of the MRTA, even if not specifically listed.
- Keep records, including the names of officers and directors of the company’s licensees and the locations of all licensed premises.
- Inspection or provide inspection facilities authorized by MRTA
- Prescribe the application form for licenses and permits.
- Decentralize power.
- Perform the duties assigned by CCB.
- Provide advice and assistance to China Construction Bank.
- Post guidance and advice
While we await a better understanding of Ms. Wright and Mr. Alexander (especially their plans for New York rules and regulations), it is very exciting that Governor Hochle initiated this process. After the MRTA was promulgated in March, the cannabis industry in New York finally took a tangible step forward, and we look forward to more positive developments by the end of the year.