Only 122 legal marijuana retailers have opened over the last three years or so since New York’s marijuana law came into effect, falling far short of the number promised, and leading Gov. Kathy Hochul to ask Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy to undertake a 30-day assessment into the operations of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).

Moy’s report, which she delivered to the governor last week, was critical of the agency’s leadership capacity, failure of centralized operations, lack of customer service and overly complex licensing requirements, among other issues.

The report prompted the governor to announce the removal of OCM Executive Director Christopher Alexander from the position when his term expires in September. 

A group called the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition sent out a release Tuesday morning, condemning Hochul’s decision not to reinstate Alexander, who is Black. The group also stated that Moy’s report “portrays a widespread picture of incompetence and untrustworthiness in OCM’s leadership overall,” while ignoring other office activities required by law.

When asked to respond, Moy noted that the cannabis agency’s rollout was a challenging one.

“I say that we need to have the best possible staff to be able to deliver for New Yorkers, and there are some key gaps that exist,” Moy told Capital Tonight.  

Moy discussed those gaps with Capital Tonight host Susan Arbetter.