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Lawmakers consider modifications to cannabis law: What could change?

State lawmakers, including Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, are contemplating revisions to the 2021 Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act that legalized recreational cannabis in the state. Peoples-Stokes highlighted the necessity to revisit the legislation to address issues that have emerged, particularly the slow pace of legal cannabis market development and the proliferation of illegal dispensaries. Governor Kathy Hochul has expressed frustration with the current regulatory framework and suggested that changes are needed to strengthen enforcement against illegal cannabis operations.


The proposed changes aim to streamline the process for legal dispensaries and curb the illegal cannabis market. Peoples-Stokes mentioned considering the repeal of the potency tax and easing marketing restrictions for dispensaries. The focus remains on maintaining the law’s commitment to social equity by prioritizing licenses for communities disproportionately affected by past drug laws. However, Peoples-Stokes does not see the need to codify the Conditional Adult-Use Retail Application program, suggesting that the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) is effectively executing legislative intentions.

As New York’s cannabis market continues to evolve, Governor Hochul is contemplating leadership changes within the OCM to expedite the opening of legal dispensaries. The state recently celebrated the opening of its 50th legal dispensary, highlighting the progress made and the challenges ahead. The OCM and lawmakers are working to ensure that the regulatory framework supports a thriving, equitable cannabis industry in New York.