Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that two listening sessions on regulated marijuana have been added to the 15 previously announced meetings being held across New York State in September and October. The additional listening sessions, which were added due to community interest, will take place on October 16, 2018 in Suffolk County, Long Island and October 17, 2018 in Westchester County. Specific details about venues for all upcoming listening sessions are now available here.
“As we begin the process of creating a model regulated marijuana program, it is critical that we reach communities across the state in order to hear what New Yorkers have to say,” Governor Cuomo said. “By adding two additional listening sessions to our schedule, we can ensure that all New Yorkers who wish to have their voice heard have the opportunity to do so.”
Seventeen listening sessions are being conducted across New York State in the following locations: Albany, Glens Falls, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Long Island (one in Nassau County and one in Suffolk County), Westchester County, Newburgh, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Watertown. The listening sessions began on September 5 and will be completed by mid-October. Listening sessions are held in the evening and open to the public. Pre-registration is encouraged to accommodate all those planning to attend.
The dates and locations for the upcoming sessions are below:
Monday, September 24 – Queens
Tuesday, September 25 – Brooklyn
Wednesday, September 26 – Staten Island
Thursday, September 27 – Long Island (Nassau County)
Monday, October 1 – Newburgh
Tuesday, October 2 – Binghamton
Wednesday, October 3 – Buffalo
Thursday, October 4 – Rochester
Tuesday, October 9 – Syracuse
Wednesday, October 10 – Utica
Thursday, October 11 – Watertown
Tuesday, October 16 – Long Island (Suffolk County)
Wednesday, October 17 – Westchester County
In January, Governor Cuomo commissioned a multi-agency study, led by the Department of Health, to assess the impact of a regulated marijuana program in New York State. The Assessment of the Potential Impact of Regulated Marijuana in New York State, which was delivered to the Governor in July, found that the positive impacts of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts, and that areas that may be a cause for concern can be mitigated with regulation and proper use of public education that is tailored to address key populations.
After reviewing the study, the Governor announced the creation of a Regulated Marijuana Workgroup to provide advice to the State on legislative and regulatory approaches needed to protect public health, provide consumer protection, ensure public safety, address social justice issues and capture and invest tax revenue. The Workgroup, which includes subject matter experts from throughout the State and government representatives of public health, mental health, substance use, taxation and finance, law enforcement and public safety, will review feedback received at these listening sessions as part of this process.