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Hochul picks members for Cannabis Control Board

Rows of cannabis plants
Angelica Morrison
Hundreds of lush green plants line up in rows under very bright growing lights and large fans at Tweed Farms on Niagara on the Lake during a 2018 tour.

A group that represents cannabis growers in New York is eager to get to work with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new picks to lead the state cannabis control board. Hochul asked state lawmakers to approve her appointments to the Office of Cannabis Management.

Her pick for executive director is Chris Alexander, who works for a Canadian cannabis company and is policy coordinator for Drug Policy Alliance. She tapped former Brooklyn Assemblymember Tremaine Wright to chair the cannabis control board. Alexander and Wright are both Black.

David Falkwoski, with the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association, said he has high hopes.

“We really look forward most to these new appointed folks to help develop and build a fair and equitable program,” Falkwoski said.

The goal of the board will be to grant half of marijuana licenses to small farmers and people from communities disproportionately impacted by drug policing. It will reinvest 40% of the sales tax on the pot sales into communities and target neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by drug policing.