Speakers include Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, UB cannabis researcher R. Lorraine Collins and the head of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management
There are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties, surrounding NY State’s new rules and regulations pertaining to the cannabis industry. For example:
- How many cannabis plants are you allowed to grow at home now that adult use of recreational marijuana is legal in New York State?
- How does someone interested in cultivating, processing, selling or manufacturing marijuana go about obtaining the required state license to do so?
Those are just two of the questions that will be answered at an upcoming public event that will be held at University at Buffalo’s South Campus.
It seems as if everyone is looking for answers these days, from CBD businesses looking to incorporate THC into their sales efforts, to those who are anticipating legal dispensaries and cannabis cafés. So what’s it all about? When will further legalization legislation be passed?
This is a great opportunity to hear from keynote speakers New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Chris Alexander, executive director of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management. Peoples-Stokes and Alexander will outline the implementation of New York’s cannabis program. The program will be moderated by UB School of Law alumna Aleece Burgio, who serves as general counsel for Western New York-based sustainable greenhouse consulting firm MJI Solutions.
While strides have certainly been made, to further open the doors for recreational users, growers, and business owners, “It’s a complicated law and much needs to occur to implement it,” said event panelist and UB cannabis researcher R. Lorraine Collins, PhD.
“This will be a great opportunity for people to hear more about what’s going on,” said Collins, who in 2018 was appointed to a working group created by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo tasked with proposing legislation on how to regulate cannabis use in the state. Collins is also associate dean for research in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the school’s Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, and director of UB’s new Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
“The discussion is very much oriented to engaging community members who are interested in growing cannabis, the cannabis marketplace, the social justice aspects of the law, those kinds of issues,” Collins said. “There will be presentations from a number of folks on the industry side of things.”
Collins also happens to head up UB’s Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, and is, of course, a proponent of furthering cannabis education and the need for more research. The multidisciplinary center currently includes researchers from the School of Public Health and Health Professions, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Architecture and Planning, Law, Nursing, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
According to Collins, it is of utmost importance to study the affects of marijuana use by various populations, as they relate to health and medical benefits, adverse reactions, addiction, etc. There are also social justice and equity impacts to consider, especially when looking at historically marginalized communities.
“The center came out of my knowledge of what was happening with regard to regulation of cannabis in New York State,” said Collins, who received pilot funding for the center from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at UB. “Some of the people involved in that — Crystal Peoples-Stokes certainly comes to mind — are in our region and I think expect or look to UB to play a significant role in researching the many factors related to cannabis use and its effects.”
“We have a year or so under our belt and now I’m looking forward to moving ahead with our activities,” Collins said, adding that she hopes New York State will soon begin to distribute much-needed calls for applications to conduct cannabis research.
The event will include a Q&A session allowing attendees to get answers to any questions they have about cannabis in New York State.