Business owners, leaders react to NY Cannabis Control Board meeting

Politics

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — There are mixed feelings Western New York business owners and leaders about the progress of legal marijuana in the state. The Cannabis Control Board held its first meeting Tuesday.

Victor Cracknell, owner of the smoke shop The Greener Mile in West Seneca, said he was happy with how things went at the first meeting. “I also like that the forefront seemed to be keeping ethics in the business which is kind of a word that’s been lost in a lot of corporations and a lot of industries,” he said. “In this industry, it’s extremely important.” He said he likes the current pace and hopes to be licensed to sell recreational marijuana by next year.

In their first meeting, the five members on the Cannabis Control Board confirmed 21 potential senior staffers for the Office of Cannabis Management and approved the whole flower as a medical cannabis product. They also waived the $50 patient and caregiver registration fee for medical marijuana and authorized these groups to receive a 60 day supply, up from a 30-day.

But some, like State Sen. George Borrellonot, said they didn’t feel the meeting was productive. Borrellonot said the meeting was underwhelming and there’s still a lot on the table to be done. “You still have a Cannabis Control Board that’s in its infancy and has yet to regulate a single rule about what the legal sale of recreational marijuana and cultivation of recreational marijuana will look like,” he said.

Borrello proposed a bill to extend how long municipalities have to opt-out of dispensaries by a year. Currently, towns must decline by December 31 or they’ll automatically be opted-in.

Lancaster town supervisor Ronald Ruffino held a public hearing on the topic Monday night. He said there were opinions on both sides, but the town is preparing zoning regulations already to be prepared for the possibility of opting in. “Prior to the public hearing I think the consensus may have been to opt-out but after listening to some of the residents I think it’s gonna be roundtables a little bit more,” Ruffino said. “It’s an education process we need to be educated to make a proper decision.”

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