Tremaine Wright was confirmed as chairperson of the Cannabis Control Board, and Christopher Alexander was secured as executive director of the new office of Cannabis Management.
Wright is a former Democratic assemblywoman who represented Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Alexander is government relations and policy manager at the Canada-based cannabis company, Vill, LLC.
Four more members still need to be named to the board by the governor and legislative leaders, which is responsible for awarding licenses to cannabis sellers in the state. The appointees do not need to be approved by lawmakers.
Hochul ordered the special session Tuesday with a thinly veiled swipe at her predecessor, disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying she wanted “to jumpstart the long-overdue decisions pertaining to establishing cannabis in the state of New York.”
Recreational cannabis was approved by Albany in the spring after being shelved by Cuomo amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“These two individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new roles, and I know they will do a tremendous job of outlining and implementing regulations that are safe, fair and transparent, and that recognize the need to remedy the impact that prohibition has had on communities of color,” the Democrat said in a statement.
“I look forward to working with them on building our state’s cannabis industry and effecting real change for New Yorkers.”
State Sen. Liz Krueger, who chairs the powerful state Senate Finance Committee and sponsored the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, said Hochul’s appointees to the cannabis board cleared her committee after being questioned.