Senator Jeremy Cooney purchases legal Cannabis


New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney tweeted, “Felt good to purchase safe and legal cannabis right here in Rochester, NY.#cannabis”

The Senator’s purchase comes after introducing the Cannabis Adult-Use Transition Act (CAUTA) in collaboration with various industry and community stakeholder groups. The purpose of this measure is to ensure a smooth transition to a fully operational, safe, economically viable, and equitable cannabis market in New York.

Although the recently approved state budget did address some issues related to adult-use and medical cannabis programs, there are still urgent matters that need attention. Senator Cooney’s legislation aims to strengthen and promote the long-term stability of the emerging adult-use market and struggling medical cannabis market. This will allow these industries to fulfill the social equity assurances outlined in the 2021 legalization bill, the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).

To develop this comprehensive bill, Senator Cooney has brought together stakeholders from various sectors of New York’s cannabis community. This includes farmers, organized labor, medical operators, patients, processors, ancillary services, and Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD) applicants. The collaboration of this diverse group has identified the most pressing issues currently facing the cannabis industry, which could become significant threats if not addressed before the end of the legislative session.

The coalition supporting this bill reflects the practicality and urgency of the problems it aims to solve. These issues include limited processing capacity for cultivators, a lack of retail outlets for conditional cultivators and processors, challenges faced by CAURD licensees and applicants in accessing capital and resources, a diminishing medical cannabis market for registered medical organizations and patients, and the persistent presence of the illicit market.

As a result of these challenges, New York’s cannabis industries are losing value and jobs, and patients are being left behind. Additionally, the state is missing out on tax revenue that could fund social equity programs benefiting communities disproportionately affected by the failed War on Drugs.

The CAUTA bill proposes several measures to address these issues. It suggests expanding the Cannabis Advisory Board to include new seats for key stakeholders, such as retailers, patients, service-disabled veterans, and supply tier representation. It also aims to clarify the transition of medical operators into the adult-use market, which would provide much-needed funding for Social and Economic Equity programs and stabilize the diminishing medical cannabis market. The bill suggests extending the authority of conditional cultivators and processors for one year, codifying CAURD licenses, and providing them with transparency, access to capital, and administrative support to become operational quickly. Furthermore, it aims to create a competitive adult-use market that increases state revenue to reinvest in communities affected by the War on Drugs and encourages consumers to shift from the illicit market to the regulated one.

Senator Jeremy Cooney acknowledges the challenges faced by New York’s cannabis sectors and emphasizes the need for stability, pathways for licensees and applicants, and consumer and patient protection. He believes that the CAUTA bill takes the necessary steps to achieve these goals.

Various stakeholders have expressed their support for the bill, recognizing the potential of New York’s cannabis industry and the importance of addressing the current shortcomings. They believe that the CAUTA bill will provide relief and support to all licensees, ensuring the success of the industry and the realization of the MRTA’s vision and promise.

The CAUTA bill aims to address urgent issues, promote equity, and create a thriving and regulated market that benefits all stakeholders involved.

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