© 2023 WRVO Public Media
Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Hochul picks members for cannabis control board

Marijuana plants in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren
Marijuana plants in Seattle.

A group that represents cannabis growers in New York is eager to get to work with Governor Kathy Hochul’s new picks to lead the state cannabis control board.

Hochul asked state lawmakers to approve her appointments to the Office of Cannabis Management. Her pick for executive director is Chris Alexander, who works for a Canadian cannabis company and is policy coordinator for Drug Policy Alliance. She tapped former Brooklyn Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright to chair the cannabis control board. Alexander and Wright are both Black.

David Falkwoski is with the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association. He said he has high hopes.

“We really look forward most to these new appointed folks to help develop and build a fair and equitable program,” Falkwoski said.

The goal of the board will be to grant half of marijuana licenses to small farmers and people from communities disproportionately impacted by drug policing.

The cannabis control board will reinvest 40% of the sales tax on the pot sales into communities. It will target neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by drug policing.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's afternoon news editor. Formally WAMC’s Berkshire bureau chief, he has reported for public radio stations, including bylines with WSHU, WNYC, WBUR, WNPR and NPR. J.D. has reported on healthcare and small businesses for "Long Island Business News" and real estate and land-use for The Press News Group newspapers. He also hosted, produced and engineered award-winning programs at WUSB Stony Brook. An avid fencer in his free time, J.D. holds a B.A. in journalism and sociology from Stony Brook University and an M.S. in communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.