BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — There are mixed feelings among local business owners and leaders about the progress of legal marijuana in the state. The Cannabis Control Board held its first meeting Tuesday.
Victor Cracknell, owner of the smoke shop The Greener Mile in West Seneca, said he was happy with how things went at the first meeting.
“I also like that the forefront seemed to be keeping ethics in the business which is kind of a word that’s been lost in a lot of corporations and a lot of industries and in this industry it’s extremely important,” he said.
He said he likes the pace things are moving and hopes to be licensed to sell recreational marijuana by next year.
In their first meeting, the five members on the Cannabis Control Board confirmed 21 potential senior staffers for the Office of Cannabis Management and approved the whole flower as a medical cannabis product.
They also waived the $50 patient and caregiver registration fee for medical marijuana and authorized these groups to receive a 60 day supply, up from a 30-day.
But not everyone felt the meeting was productive including state senator George Borrello. He said the meeting was underwhelming and there’s still a lot on the table to be done.
“You still have a Cannabis Control Board that’s in its infancy and has yet to regulate a single rule about what the legal sale of recreational marijuana and cultivation of recreational marijuana will look like in New York state,” Borello said.
Borrello proposed a bill to extend the number of times municipalities have to opt out of dispensaries by a year. Currently, towns will need to decide by December 31 of this year or they’ll be automatically opted in.
Lancaster town supervisor Ronald Ruffino held a public hearing on this topic Monday night. He said there were opinions on both sides, but the town is preparing zoning regulations already to be prepared for the possibility of opting in.
“Prior to the public hearing I think the consensus may have been to opt-out but after listening to some of the residents I think it’s gonna be roundtables a little bit more. It’s an education process we need to be educated to make a proper decision.”
Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.