New York Governor prepares to ease restrictions on cannabis

Cuomo's cannabis regulation plan would develop a set of uniform regulations to help tackle social equity and social justice predicament

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New York Governor prepares to ease restrictions on cannabis

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Federal cannabis legalization could very well happen next year. However, until restrictions on the green, leafy plant’s legal status are lifted, U.S. states must hash out their own rules for cannabis sale, use, cultivation and production.

Paving the way for cannabis regulation is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who invited governors in nearby Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to join forces with him in developing a set of rules that can be adopted in all three states.

The first meeting involving Cuomo and the three governors, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, commenced on October 17. During the event – called, “The Governors’ Regional Cannabis & Vaping Summit”– the development of a regional cannabis plan was discussed for an entire day. 

“The goal is to collaborate with one another, to share resources and thinking collectively as we’re all trying to figure this out,” Cuomo said as he welcomed the group at the summit. “To the extent regional coordination makes sense and it is politically practicable, we want to do that.”

Cannabis laws vary greatly among U.S. status, Gov. Cuomo’s cannabis regulation plan could help straighten things out

A total of 33 U.S. states have, so far, legalized cannabis in some form. Since there is currently no federal oversight for the U.S. cannabis industry, Gov. Cuomo’s plans to bundle numerous state regulations into a combined regional plan serves as a welcome addition to the industry.

Cannabis business owners in the U.S. must refer to local cannabis rules to ensure their cultivation, production, packaging, labeling and cultivation standards are compliant with state regulations. Moreover, cannabis businesses in the U.S. must sell their product in the same state that it is produced. This rule does not apply for any other retail industry.

Medical consumers stand to benefit from Gov. Cuomo’s cannabis regulation plan

The three states participating in Cuomo’s cannabis regulation plan will work together to develop rules and regulations pertaining to the legal weed industry. Both medical and recreational consumers stand to benefit from Cuomo’s cannabis regulation plan; for the most part, medical cannabis patients will reap the rewards.

Consistent pricing, taxes and a broader selection of products distributed among participating states would help to bolster the medical industry in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, thus making it easier for patients to obtain their medicine. Furthermore, Cuomo’s cannabis regulation plan would develop a set of uniform regulations to help tackle social equity and social justice predicaments.

We don’t have, frankly in my opinion, a federal government that is providing leadership on these issues If we are on our own, let’s hook our boats together and see if we can find our way through this storm,” Cuomo said upon announcing the collaborative effort to regulate cannabis in the U.S. However, it is not yet certain as to how the plan will roll-out, nor precisely what it will comprise.