After years of swings and misses, New York lawmakers legalized cannabis last week. And, as negotiations heated up, dozens of entities lobbied lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office on cannabis and hemp issues.
Cannabis Wire pored over the latest lobbying disclosures to see which entities were chiming in on cannabis this year, and we spotted some noteworthy new names.
The entities that began to lobby on cannabis in 2021 include: Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, The Business Council of New York State, Farm Bureau of New York, Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials, NYS AFL-CIO, Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers, and Green Thumb Industries.
The priorities and concerns of these entities varied, though there was some overlap. The Chamber, for example, “remained neutral regarding specific legislation to legalize adult use of cannabis,” but lobbied on “related matters,” vice president of government relations Tom O’Connor told Cannabis Wire. A major focus, for example, was the “ramifications” of adult use cannabis for worker safety and testing.
This was true, too, for the Council. Frank Kerbein, the Council’s director of the center for human resources, told Cannabis Wire that the Council has “no position on the overall issue of legalization.”
“We just have concerns about employers’ ability to maintain a safe workplace where required to by federal and state occupational safety laws,” he said, adding that the group’s efforts focused on “an employer’s right to maintain a drug-free workplace.”
The Conference, on the other hand, was concerned with local control, executive director Peter Baynes told Cannabis Wire, pointing to the group’s legislative program for 2021. “Although there is a lack of consensus among NYCOM membership regarding the question of legalization, there is absolute agreement on the issue of local control and local revenue if adult-use cannabis is, in fact, legalized,” the program read.
Here are some of the other entities that registered to lobby this year, most of which had also lobbied in years past.
*Smart Approaches to Marijuana (*anti-legalization)
The Good Growth Alliance (ScottsMiracle-Gro)
Ghost Management Group (Weedmaps)