NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State Cannabis Control Board is holding its first public meeting, Tuesday afternoon.
The five-member board is responsible for approving the framework for the state's cannabis industry, including licensing businesses.
According to original projections, the legalization of recreational marijuana is expected to generate $350 million in yearly tax revenue and create 60,000 jobs.
Local municipalities have until the end of the year to "opt in" or "opt out" of allowing dispensaries to open in their jurisdiction. Those that opt out will not get a share of the tax revenue.
PREVIOUS STORY: NYS Cannabis Control Board holding its first meeting Tuesday
"This really sets New York's law apart from all the states that have legalized adult use marijuana, and it is what truly excites me about this opportunity to serve on the board," Cannabis Control Board member Jen Metzger said.
Newly appointed board member, Jen Metzger, has worked with hemp and CBD on the legislative side, now on the regulatory side. She and the five-member board are hoping to advocate for sustainable practices.
Metzger said, "I think it offers huge opportunities to our farmers; small farmers, young farmers, historically under-represented farmers and farmers who have been struggling economically."
The board announced the roll out of the enhancement of the medical cannabis program involving whole flower, which will take effect immediately.
"Whole flower is an approved form of medical cannabis product. Any practitioner who has the license to prescribe a controlled substance is able to certify medical patients, Cannabis Control Board chair Tremaine Wright said.
Additionally, the patient and caregiver $50 registration fee is permanently waived, hoping to increase patient participation.
"The amount of approved medical cannabis that may be dispensed to a certified patient or a designated caregiver increased from a 30-day supply to a 60-day supply," Wright said. "The approval facilities such as hospitals, residential facilities and schools to become designated sights will be streamlined. This will make the administration of medical cannabis easier for patients who go to those facilities."
The "Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act", also known as MRTA, was signed into law on March 31, but the board was unable to establish New York's market until September 22, when the full cannabis board was appointed.
Because of this, the board has a 6-month delay to makeup.
There's no word on when the board will meet again.