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Gov. Hochul’s cannabis appointment reeks of inexperience: lawmaker

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s choice to head the new cannabis control board is a half-baked idea — because the appointee has zero experience dealing with the marijuana industry, a legislative pot expert kvetched.

Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) called Hochul’s appointment of former state Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright “mystifying” during a hastily assembled confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee last week.

Savino, who helped draft New York’s medical marijuana law years ago, said Wright is an “accomplished lawyer” who has experience in advocating for “social equity” adding, “so this is not a reflection of you.”

But then Savino put it bluntly.

“I’m somewhat mystified as to why the governor decided to put in charge of the cannabis board a person who has no experience in cannabis,” she said while questioning Wright at what had been an otherwise friendly confirmation hearing.

“You have experience in a lot of things,” Savino added, “but I’m concerned you don’t have direct experience in cannabis itself.”

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature in March legalized recreational use and sale of marijuana — and now Wright is faced with the gargantuan task of setting up from scratch a legal weed industry from seed to sale, including drafting regulations.

Wright, a former Brooklyn assemblywoman and Democrat who most recently served as an executive with the state Department of Financial Services, said her small business experience included running a neighborhood coffee shop and serving on the local Brooklyn community board. [Read More @ The NY Post]


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