As the Empire State continues to struggle with illicit weed operations, State Senator Jeremy Cooney (D-Rochester), chair of a new state Senate Subcommittee on Cannabis, says there’s no time to waste.
“A lot of the debate in the Legislature is about how big the fines may be, what the agency is that has the ability to make searches and seizures. I’m more interested in the timeline. We’ve got to move quickly,” he told Capital Tonight, reported Spectrum News.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who has constantly stressed the importance of protecting the legal recreational marijuana market, launched a “Why Buy Legal New York” campaign in mid-April to encourage people to make safer and better-informed cannabis purchases from licensed dispensaries.
Cooney said he’s aware of the challenges facing the cannabis industry, but acknowledged that dealing with the illegal market should be a top priority.
“If a bar popped up on the corner of your street that didn’t have a liquor license, they’d be shut down like that,” he said. “Why is it not the same for cannabis?”
Cooney added that he plans to utilize his new position to help the industry develop.
“By having a dedicated subcommittee that deals with cannabis, and by working with other committees, we can hold hearings, we can convene groups, we can use subpoena power,” he said adding that he doesn’t plan to be rigid. “We want you to have a place to go, share your ideas, vent your frustrations, and hopefully, work on solutions,” he said.
Photo: Benzinga edit with images by Kindel Media by Pixabay and Quintin Gellar by Pexels