In January 2018, then Governor Cuomo commissioned a multi-agency study, led by the Department of Health, to assess the impact of a regulated marijuana program in New York State. The impact assessment examined the health, economic, public safety and criminal justice impact of a regulated marijuana program in New York State and the consequences to New York State of legalization in surrounding states. The study found that the positive impacts of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts, and that areas that may be a cause for concern can be mitigated with regulation and proper use of public education that is tailored to address key populations.
Based on the findings of the study, a Regulated Marijuana Workgroup was created to provide advice to the State on legislative and regulatory approaches needed to protect public health, provide consumer protection, ensure public safety, address social justice issues and capture and invest tax revenue.
To assist the workgroup, a series of listening sessions was held to gather input from community members and key stakeholders.
Seventeen listening sessions were conducted across New York State in the following locations: Albany, Glens Falls, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau-Long Island, Newburgh, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Watertown, Suffolk-Long Island and Westchester.