New York officials are trying to find ways of boosting a flagging medicinal cannabis industry that has struggled as a broader adult-use marketplace takes shape.
At the same time, lawmakers are considering how to also bolster the adult-use cannabis industry itself amid a slow rollout of businesses being opened this year.
Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Cooney on Wednesday announced legislation meant, in part, to do both.
Cooney's legislation includes provisions that would enable medical cannabis operators to transition to the adult-use market, providing them with more funding. He also wants the state's Cannabis Advisory Board to expand to include new seats for retailers, patients, service-disabled veterans and people who work in the supply tier of the industry.
Cooney, the chair of a recently created subcommittee on cannabis issues, proposed the latest provision to address the cannabis retail issues in recent months.
Lawmakers in May approved measures in the state budget meant to address the illegal sale of cannabis in the state, increasing fines and penalties for businesses that sell without a license.
State cannabis regulators, meanwhile, are advancing changes that would allow medicinal companies to switch to the adult-use marketplace by the end of the year.
“It is no secret that New York has faced bumps in the road to a fully-functioning adult use and medical cannabis sectors,” Cooney said. “From a thriving illicit market, limited processing capacity, to a lack of capital access for social equity retailers—the entire supply chain is struggling."