A Republican state lawmaker on Thursday proposed stronger oversight of the state's burgeoning cannabis market through inspections and tracking on the local level.
The measure is among the latest efforts to shape the cannabis market in New York, which is expected to generate more than $1 billion for the state's economy in the coming years. At the same time, the proposal is meant to address what some lawmakers worry could continue to be a black market of cannabis sales in the state, thwarting a tax-and-regulatory framework that is under development.
The measure to be introduced by Assemblyman Josh Jensen would require local governments and county health officials to take the responsibility of inspecting cannabis facilities. The cost of doing so would be reimbursed by the state's main regulator, the Office of Cannabis Management.
Jensen's bill would also make "seed to sale" tracking mandatory as a way of helping local governments collecting taxes from cannabis sales while also verifying sales and distribution.
“Now that the use and sale of marijuana is set to be legal and the state has begun issuing licenses, we have to handle it responsibly and safely,” said Jensen. “Without set guidelines in place on who will be responsible for the inspections of marijuana facilities and food-grade products, as well as the assurance that every aspect of the industry is operating in the legal marketplace, we risk the continued sale of marijuana through the black market, inappropriate community uses and inconsistent oversight by New York state.”