New York State Senate Approves Chairperson and Executive Director Under New York Cannabis Law

Michael Roche


Governor Kathy Hochul has announced her appointments to the Cannabis Control Board. Tremaine Wright, a former Assemblywoman from Brooklyn, was named as Chairperson of the Cannabis Control Board. Christopher Alexander, formerly of the Drug Policy Alliance, was announced as the Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. Ms. Wright becomes the first member of the five-person Board.  Governor Hochul has two additional direct appointments, while the President of the Senate and Speaker of the Assembly each have one direct appointment. We anticipate these appointments will be coming soon.

Returning for a special session that was called by Governor Hochul yesterday, September 1, 2021, the Senate considered and approved Governor Hochul’s nominees for the Chairperson and the Executive Director.

The appointments of the Chair and Executive Director were a key first step in beginning the legalization process in New York. This will allow the next steps to begin such as the development of regulations to implement the law. It is important to note that licensing under the Cannabis Law still remains several months away. During her nomination hearing in front of the Senate Finance Committee, Ms. Wright emphasized that the Office of Cannabis Management will need to hire a staff and then begin developing regulations, noting that doing so would likely take at least three months.

If you have any questions regarding this LEGALcurrents, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the firm’s Cannabis Law practice group at 585.232.6500 or 716.853.1616.

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