Gov. Kathy Hochul made three new leadership appointments to the New York Office of Cannabis Management, her office said Monday, following an assessment of the office targeted to find opportunities for improvement amid the legal cannabis rollout.

Among the appointments is Felicia A. B. Reid as the executive deputy director and acting executive director. A nationwide search is underway for a permanent executive director and Hochul said the governor’s office will work with an experienced recruitment firm to identify qualified candidates from across the state and the country.

Hochul said back in May that Executive Director Chris Alexander would step down at the end of his term in September following a damning report that showed sweeping department inefficiences. 

“I’m committed to ensuring New York’s nation-leading cannabis market continues to thrive,” Hochul said in a statement. “With these new appointees, the Office of Cannabis Management will continue to focus on expanding the most equitable adult-use market in the nation while cracking down on illicit storefronts.”

Hochul said the new leadership aims to end the bottleneck of license applicants, improve communication with applicants and licensees and reaffirm the agency’s commitment to the social equity goals codified in the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act that was passed in 2021.

Hochul earlier this spring also expressed immense displeasure with the Office of Cannabis Management’s plan to approve three licenses, and the agency’s slow actions since legal challenges that stalled the market rollout were settled last fall and launched an assessment in early May to improve operations.


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