New York will be home to one of the biggest legal cannabis markets in the world, if lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo can finally agree on how cannabis should be legalized.
For years, major entities have been lobbying on cannabis in the state, both for and against, from Canopy Growth to the state’s Association of County Health Officials, as Cannabis Wire has reported. As lawmakers and Cuomo kick off their third legalization push in three years, Cannabis Wire reviewed the latest lobbying registrations in the state and spotted new groups, from alcohol to consumer healthcare, lobbying on cannabis and hemp.
Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a national trade group focused on personal healthcare and supplements, is one of those groups. CHPA’s Vice President of State & Local Government Affairs Carlos Gutierrez told Cannabis Wire that CHPA commented on the recently proposed regulations for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products in New York. (Cuomo’s budget bill proposes to “centralize” cannabis and hemp regulations under a new Office of Cannabis Management.)
“CHPA agrees with New York that action is needed to better regulate the emerging cannabinoid market, but it is the responsibility of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop and promulgate national standards for safe cannabidiol (CBD) limits in foods and dietary supplements,” Gutierrez said. “We are urging the New York State Department of Health to follow FDA’s lead since independent state efforts to establish limits would result in a patchwork of regulations that risks public health nationwide.”
The New York State Association of Beverage Centers, which represents beverage discount centers from Montauk to Buffalo, registered to lobby on cannabis legalization.
“We see it as an opportunity to increase our business. We feel that, as marijuana becomes more and more accepted, less people may be drinking beer,” Peter Sobol, the Association’s lobbyist, told Cannabis Wire. “There’s a potential loss in sales.”
Additionally, Sobol said that the alcohol industry, which checks identifications regularly, is uniquely positioned to help prevent youth use of cannabis.
“We have one of the best track records already established in keeping controlled substance out of the hands of minors,” Sobol said, adding that the Association would like to apply for a license and be able to sell cannabis in their stores.
Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, also showed up as registered to lobby in New York on cannabis, but when Cannabis Wire inquired about Altria’s cannabis priorities in the state, spokesperson George Parman told Cannabis Wire that “the inclusion of cannabis is an error and the registration is getting amended.” That registration was amended as of January 19.
Altria is already lobbying at the federal level in the US on “matters pertaining to hemp,” which Cannabis Wire first reported. Altria is involved in the cannabis industry through its 45 percent stake in the Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group.