New York Governor Grows Frustrated with Cannabis Control Board

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New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, has grown frustrated with the Cannabis Control Board’s handling of the cannabis licensing process.

New York’s cannabis industry has experienced a slow start and various roadblocks. The Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, has expressed her growing frustration about the Cannabis Control Board’s handling of the cannabis licensing process and called it a “disaster” in an interview with Buffalo News (1,2). The delays and roadblocks being experienced have caused some confusion which has led to the governor’s displeasure.

“I’m very fed up with how long it’s taken to get some of these approvals. My understanding is that the board was supposed to consider 400 applicants,” Governor Kathy Hochul said (1). “They only had three new retail locations approved.” Her comments were targeted toward questions stemming from the Buffalo News editorial Board (1). Cannabis was first legalized in 2021 (3).


The Office of Cannabis Management has been battling several lawsuits which have been plaguing the states’ cannabis industry and putting licenses on hold. The City reported (1) that the governor’s team is getting involved and that she is “not satisfied with the pace.” The Office of Cannabis Management has declined commenting on the governor’s comments (1).

Governor Kathy Hochul applies some of the issues of cannabis’s rollout in the Big Apple State with the legislation. This includes few enforcement options in place to help battle illegal storefronts, as well as, not providing swifter methods toward legal sales (1). “You have to go back to the very beginning. Prior to my time [as governor], the legislation was crafted in a way that was not poised for success,” Hochul commented to the Buffalo News (1).

Two new lawsuits were filed in the final weeks of January 2024 (2). One of the lawsuits is representing seven women-owned, social equity companies who feel that the “randomized queue” was “arbitrary and capricious” and how there were inconsistencies. Such as, one licensee had been found to have an extra entry in the queue, according to Ganjapreneur (2). The other lawsuit was filed by Valencia Ag LLC and claimed that the licensing preferences for the state went against the United States (US) Constitution by disfavoring “white men” and favoring minorities and/or women applicants (2).

Despite the addition of more lawsuits, hopefully with the governor’s involvement, New York’s cannabis industry can finally get on a roll.


  1. Adams, R. Calling Cannabis Rollout A “Disaster,” Hochul Blames Law for Rampant Illegal Sales (accessed Feb 2, 2024).
  2. Abbott, G. New York Gov. Blasts Cannabis Industry Roll-Out as New Lawsuits Seek to Delay Licensing (accessed Feb 2, 2024).
  3. Colli, M. New York State Cannabis Control Board Unexpectedly Cancels Meeting Discussing Homegrown Rules and Licenses (accessed Feb 2, 2024).