Senator Jeremy Cooney (D-Rochester) was named chairman of a new Senate Subcommittee on Cannabis on Monday, April 24.
NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) made the appointment, saying that Cooney has been a consistent voice for social equity with the MRTA legalization bill and ongoing rollout of adult recreational-use cannabis in New York State.
“I am pleased to see the adult-use recreational cannabis market begin to come online in New York, but there is much more to be done,” said Senator Jeremy Cooney. “From the beginning, the state legislature committed to doing the hard work of building the most equitable cannabis marketplace in the nation. I fully believe we can meet that goal.””
Cooney currently serves as Co-Chair of the Marijuana Task Force for the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus with Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. Senator Cooney was named a Cannabis Industry Power Player by PoliticsNY in 2021.
In his new role, Cooney will provide an outlet for entrepreneurs, advocates, industry and citizens with an interest in the new marketplace, and serve as a connection with the NYS Office of Cannabis Management.
Cooney voted for adult-use legalization and introduced several bills to facilitate the launch of the new state cannabis market, including legislation that allows licensed cannabis businesses to deduct ordinary business expenses when filing state taxes, a potency tax repeal for recreational products, and a state excise tax repeal for medical cannabis, according to a media release.
“The success of New York’s legal cannabis industry is not only vital to our economy, but also the livelihoods of many local farmers, business owners, and communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition. Because of this, it should be a priority for our leadership,” said Allan Gandelman, President of New York Cannabis Association of New York (CANY). “Senator Cooney has long been an ally to the New York cannabis community and our mission to achieve the vision set out by the MRTA, he will continue to be a fierce cannabis advocate and thoughtful leader.”