Category: New York Cannabis News

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High-Powered New York Lobby Firm Launches Cannabis Practice Group

terry roston

A New York-based lobbying firm is launching a division to focus on cannabis legalization and other issues related to cannabis industry and policy, reports. Park Strategies, which bills itself as a “strategic advisory and government relations firm” specializing in “highly regulated industries” such as energy, healthcare, casinos and gaming, and entertainment.

Park Strategies already represents the New York State Cannabis Growers Associationwhich it worked with in 2019 to pass the state’s Hemp Extracts law which governs the cultivation, processing and sales of non-THC hemp and cannabis products.

Joe Rossi, a managing director of the firm who will lead its Cannabis Practice Group, said that “there are still more questions than answers” on how the state’s cannabis industry regulations will work, and the group will “be on top of that.”

Alfonse D’Amato, Park Strategies founder and a former U.S. senator, added that the firm’s decision to launch the cannabis division was driven, in part, by the recent appointment of officials to the Office of Cannabis Management.

“With Governor Kathy Hochul’s prioritizing the cannabis law by making appointments to the cannabis office and governing board so quickly after having taken office tells us New York is serious about growing the cannabis industry in the state, and we are happy to be making our own investment to assure that success.”D’Amato, in a statement, via

Late last month, state lawmakers approved former Democratic Assemblywoman Termaine Wright was as chair of the Cannabis Control Board along with criminal justice reform advocate Christopher Alexander as the Office of Cannabis Management executive director.

The state is still in the process of setting up agencies and rules for legal cannabis saleswhich is expected to commence in 2022 or early 2023.


Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

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Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College First CUNY School to Offer Cannabis Minor

terry roston

Brooklyn, New York’s Medgar Evers College (MEC) is the first City University of New York (CUNY) campus to offer a cannabis minor degree program. The college announced last week that students can now enroll in its Introduction to the World of Cannabis which will serve as a prerequisite for the program.

Students can choose four courses from any of the 13 newly-developed courses to earn the minor in one of four different tracks. Students from other CUNY campuses can also access the classes via the CUNY e-permit system.

Dr. Patricia Ramsey, president of Medgar Evers College and a botanist, said that she is “particularly pleased” that the college “is on the cutting edge of providing educational opportunities to learn about the many beneficial uses of plants such as cannabis and to provide the training necessary” for students interested in entering the cannabis space.

Education is a key step in raising awareness of the non-recreational benefits of plants such as cannabis. Oftentimes, communities of color are the last to benefit from emerging economic opportunities. The science faculty and the business faculty collaborated in developing the minor in cannabis education; thus, exposing the students to the science, health, technical and business aspects of this new industry.” Ramsey in a press release

The program includes partnerships with  Women Grow, Cookies cannabis brand, the Webber Wild Impact Fundwhich is led by 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Chris Webber, Columbia Care, Cannabis Advisory Group, and New York City community-focused foundation Gotham Gives. The program was spearheaded by the MEC Cannabis Education Taskforce and is part of the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science.

Michael Zaytsev, the author of The Cannabis Business Book and founder of New York City cannabis education and networking community High NY, will lead the Introduction to the World of Cannabis course.

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Author: TG Branfalt

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New York Appoints Cannabis Regulators

terry roston

New York lawmakers approved two officials for the state’s adult-use cannabis program in a special session this week, WHAM reports.

Former Democratic Assemblywoman Termaine Wright was approved as chair of the Cannabis Control Board and criminal justice reform advocate Christopher Alexander will become the Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management, which will set the rules and regulations for growers and retailers in the cannabis space.

Both appointees were nominated by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who recently ascended to the office following the resignation of disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

New York state Sen. Jeremy Cooney—who is a member of the Marijuana Task Force—said in the report that the confirmations are an important step towards licensing growers and other entrepreneurs to spearhead the new industry.

“They’re anxious. They want a license. They want to find out the timetable and all of that can start as soon as we have leadership at the state level. We have to get this right. We are committed to getting it right. We believe that Chris Alexander and Tremaine Wright are the people to move us in that direction.” — Sen. Cooney, via WHAM

With the appointments, New York’s cannabis industry is on track to begin its licensing process sometime next year.

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Author: Graham Abbott

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