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Official on leave after retaliation claims in state’s blundered cannabis rollout

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  • Staff Report 

In a recent turn of events, Damian Fagon, the chief equity officer at the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, has been placed on administrative leave. This decision comes after accusations that Fagon engaged in improper retaliation against Jenny Argie, a cannabis gummies processor in the Hudson Valley. The office is conducting an investigation to ensure fairness and transparency.


Fagon’s suspension is part of a series of challenges faced by the Office of Cannabis Management. Argie, who had been vocal about the issues in the rollout of legal marijuana in New York, filed a complaint alleging that the agency’s actions against her were in retaliation for her public criticisms. This move underscores the tension between cannabis industry participants and regulatory bodies.

The situation has drawn attention from high-level officials, prompting Governor Kathy Hochul to order a review of the cannabis agency’s operations. As the investigation unfolds, the focus remains on maintaining the integrity of the cannabis market and addressing concerns about equitable treatment and free speech within the industry.