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Posted on: July 15, 2022

City of Albany Announces Appointments to Local Cannabis Legalization Advisory Committee

Contact: Jasmine Higgins 

ALBANY, NY – Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is pleased to announce the appointees to the City of Albany Local Cannabis Legalization Advisory Committee.

The Mayor’s Office received 50 applications from residents, businesses, and community organizations representing neighborhoods across Albany. After a careful review of all the applications and a competitive interview process, the City has finalized the list of appointees to the City of Albany Local Cannabis Advisory Committee. The committee will help solicit feedback, inform, and shape cannabis regulations at the municipal level including the time, place, and manner of adult-use retail dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses, social equity, public education, and protection of community health and safety. 

The City of Albany Cannabis Advisory Committee will be comprised of 17 community members, a representative from the Albany Fire Department, the Buildings and Regulatory Compliance Department, the Planning Department, the Office of the City Clerk, Corporation Counsel’s Office, the Department of General Services, the Department of Recreation, Youth and Workforce Services and the Albany Police Department, as well as Albany Common Councilmembers Alfredo Balarin, Joyce Love, Gabriella Romero, and Sergio Adams, and Albany County Legislator Carolyn McLaughlin. 

The City of Albany Cannabis Advisory Community Committee Members include:

  • Robert A. Anderson III
  • Saladin Amir
  • Susan Appe
  • Lydia Brassard
  • Nik Eames
  • Mildred Figueroa-Zabawski
  • Tabora Marcus
  • Judith Morgan Harris
  • Quinn Lee
  • Lee Kindlon, Esq.
  • Raziq Seabrook
  • Inspector John McGuire 
  • Kayli McTague
  • Maelisa Rivera
  • Dr. Robert Wishnoff
  • Kaciem Swain
  • William Yager

The meeting schedule, location, public input sessions, and biographical information will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Individuals interested in learning where smoking and vaping cannabis is currently permitted and where cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites are permitted can click here to view the interactive City of Albany Cannabis Consumption map. 

Individuals interested in operating a cannabis dispensary, consumption site, or cultivation facility must first acquire the appropriate license through the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (NYSOCM) and the appropriate City permits. The information displayed in the interactive City of Albany Cannabis Consumption map is based on the existing Unified Sustainable Development Ordinance (USDO).

Background:

On June 6, 2022, the City of Albany announced a call for applicants for the local cannabis legalization advisory committee. Applicants were required to provide a brief statement of no more than 500 words outlining their interest in joining the advisory committee and their qualifications as well as a current resume to the Mayor’s Office by 11:59pm on June 15, 2022. The City received more than 50 applications from residents and business owners from the City of Albany and neighboring municipalities. Of the 50+ applicants, 38 were considered eligible to serve on the committee. After an extensive interview and review process, the Mayor’s Office finalized the appointment of 17 community members to the City of Albany Cannabis Advisory Committee. 

The MRTA

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) was signed into law on March 31, 2021. The MRTA authorizes the lawful use of adult-use recreational cannabis and the lawful use of medical cannabis. The MRTA establishes the cannabis law, the New York State Cannabis Control Board, and the Office of Cannabis Management (NYS OCM) and their respective powers and duties. 

Effective as of March 31, 2021, individuals 21 or older can possess, display, purchase, obtain or transport up to three ounces of cannabis and up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis. Individuals can also transfer, without compensation, to another person 21 or older up to three ounces of cannabis and up to 24 grams of concentrate. 

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management and the New York State Cannabis Control Board are responsible for licensing related to cultivation, production, distribution, sale, and taxation of adult-use cannabis. While the Office of Cannabis Management is responsible for licensing, localities are responsible for determining local zoning matters, the locations of cannabis licensees, and the hours of operation of cannabis facilities.

To read the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) please click here

To read the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (NYS OCM) Local Government Fact Sheet please click here.

Questions regarding the advisory committee or local cannabis in the City of Albany should be directed to localmarijuana@albanyny.gov.

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