New York


Johnson City plans to ban smoking of recreational marijuana in public parks

man and woman smoking

Marijuana may have been legalized in New York state earlier this year, but Johnson City residents may soon be restricted in where it’s legal to light up. 

The village is looking to pass an amendment to local law that would add cannabis to the list of substances restricted from spaces like public parks and other village-owned property. Tobacco smoking and vaping are already banned from those public spaces. 


New York Prison Being Transformed Into $150 Million Cannabis Campus


The site of a former state prison in New York’s Hudson Valley is being transformed into a $150 million “cannabis campus” by Green Thumb Industries, one of the nation’s largest producers of legal marijuana. The planned facility at the former penitentiary in Warwick, New York will produce tens of thousands of pounds of cannabis for the state’s upcoming, recreational marijuana economy, which was legalized by legislators earlier this year.

Until 10 years ago, the 38-acre plot of land purchased by Green Thumb Industries (GTI) was part of the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, housing inmates sent to prison for marijuana offenses and other crimes. The institution dates back to 1914, when it was opened as a drug and alcohol treatment center known as the New York City Farm. 


Duo's higher calling: Destigmatizing marijuana

New York State's cannabis market is on the way, but there are still a lot of questions about how it will work. As that debate plays out in Albany, a pair of Central New York entrepreneurs are on a mission to break down stereotypes surrounding the drug and ease residents into the idea of having "canna-business" in their neighborhoods.

They say that, while smoking marijuana has become legal in the state of New York, that’s only a fraction of the battle.


“Since March, we've been kind of sitting down and talking about some ideas and we wanted to do something new,” said Byron Cage.


NY’s pot leaders need to consider environmental impacts now

cannabis seedlings growing

Investors and politicians are salivating at the potential size of the new recreational marijuana industry in New York. The state estimated the industry could bring in as much as $350 million in tax revenue annually, which would make it one of the largest cash crops in the state.

And while marijuana is projected to be an economic panacea, we are wholly unprepared for its environmental effects.

When New York passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act earlier this year, it was more mindful of its reparative potential – including specific provisions for those harmed by the war on drugs – than other states, but the law still has room for improvement when it comes to environmental justice.


Should Public Cannabis Consumption Be Allowed?

woman smoking a pipe

In New York City, when they allowed public smoking of marijuana, arrests declined significantly. Sounds like a no brainer — if it’s legal to smoke weed in public, cops can’t arrest you. Except, in some places there are grey areas and cops like to exploit these grey areas to increase arrest records and feel like they are “enforcing the LAW!”

It turns out that all you have to do for cops not to do something is to make it legal. The police is blind to the moral consequences of law — they simply enforce it. You know, like Superior Orders!

However, the issue of public cannabis consumption isn’t limited to New York City; it’s a topic that will most definitely come up in every future legalization debate from now until cannabis is completely integrated into society.


Greenhouse getting ready to grow marijuana


Inside Wheatfield Gardens greenhouses in North Tonawanda, rows of fresh, green hemp is growing.

“That is the mission now. We can fill the need,” said Wheatfield Gardens CEO Paul Elfstrum. Elfstrum says his company has been growing hemp for CBD and other products since it became legal in 2018. The company says it has the growing down to a science.

“If they want to have adult use cannabis on the shelves by next fall, we have to build a tremendous amount of supply,” he said.

Elfstrum says Wheatfield Gardens is gearing up to be a major supplier for the state and WNY area when it comes to adult use recreational marijuana. According to Elfstrum, the state will need to fill supply to reach its demand, and will look to greenhouses like Wheatfield Gardens.


Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe taking applications for cannabis retail licences

Money with cannabis leaf

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) in New York is hoping the issuing of Tribal Cannabis Retail Licences will lead to the establishment of a legal industry, which will then, in turn, fund local essential services, such as education and elder support.

The tribe first announced in July that it would allow for local entrepreneurs to grow and sell their own cannabis plants and products. That news came after the state of New York legalized the recreational use of cannabis earlier in March. It’s not expected to issue retail licences for another 18 months to sell cannabis, however.


NY cities grappling with marijuana opt-out decisions

Many New Yorkers think it is high-time for marijuana sales to start up, but some towns and villages are still grappling with this decision.

Council members in Colonie, a town in the Capital Region, have voted to ban marijuana consumption sites within their district. Marijuana consumption sites are smoking lounges, cannabis cafes and other businesses that allow for cannabis to be consumed on premises.

Melissa Jeffers, a Colonie town councilwoman, says this vote mainly boiled down to concern that people might smoke at one of these consumption sites and then drive home.  


What you need to know if you have a marijuana-related conviction

male speaker

Now that recreational use of cannabis is legal in New York, what happens to the records of individuals convicted of marijuana related charges?

With the passing of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in March, marijuana-related convictions that are no longer criminalize in New York will be automatically expunged.

However, the caveat is that legislation allows the New York State Office of Court Administration up two years to expunge the records.

This is New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney, who represents New York’s 56th Senate District is hosting an expungement clinic on Saturday in Rochester to give folks an opportunity to speak with legal experts for free about their case and how they can expedite the process.


Months after legalization, New York remains without a cannabis industry

US Flag


Marijuana has been legal for more than five months, yet there’s still no cannabis industry set up in New York.

The governor and the legislative leaders still have to appoint the remaining members of the cannabis control board, which is a part of the newly formed Office of Cannabis Management.

The executive director of OCM, and the chairperson of the control board, have both been appointed and confirmed. But it’s unclear whether the remaining positions have been filled.

Here’s a breakdown of how the board works.


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