ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State’s first ever public Cannabis Control Board meeting took place virtually this afternoon. The Board made up of five members is responsible for implementing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which legalized adult use cannabis for recreational use. 

One of the first actions of the Cannabis Control Board was allowing for the transfer of certain functions and staff from the Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management to begin. Twenty-one potential hires for senior staffing positions at OCM, recommended by Executive Director Chris Alexander were also affirmed. And, the Board appointed Jason Starr from the Human Rights Campaign to serve as Chief Equity Officer. 

Additionally, immediate changes to the State’s Medical Cannabis Program were announced. The $50 patient and caregiver registration fee is permanently waived. Certified patients and caregivers may now be dispensed a 60-day supply of medical cannabis, up from a 30-day supply. And, “Whole flower is an approved form of medical cannabis product. Any practitioner who has a license to prescribe a controlled substance is able to certify medical patients,” Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said.

Governments at the local level have until the end of the year to decide if they’re going to allow adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses in their communities. “I know in my county we’re still getting through the determination of cities, towns and villages as to whether they’re opting in or out, so we’re not planning in budgeting the expectation of revenue,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

Stephen Acquario with the New York State Association of Counties says the organization will be having a cannabis summit on October 13th.