In a sunny Manhattan hotel restaurant, The National Cannabis Industry Association continued to barnstorm the nation recruiting members and influencing policymakers. Executive Director, F. Aaron Smith welcomed a crowd of nearly 100 professionals eager to be among five private companies licensed to open four seed-to-sale dispensaries each in 2016.

Aaron Smith

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York’s Compassionate Care Act on July 7, 2014. In its current form, the Compassionate Care Act will allow those with “severe debilitating or life-threatening”conditions to purchase edibles, vaporizable concentrates, and topical creams. Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz lamented the Act’s limits. “20 isn’t enough for Queens.”He promised to revisit the current Act’s ban against smoking and prod New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to add PTSD and other ailments to the list of approved medications. Earlier this year Katz was opposing medical marijuana legislation. But he now supports it after an arrest and charges of unlawful possession of marijuana while speeding.

NY Assemblyman Steve Katz

NY Assemblyman Steve Katz

Citing the culture of corruption permeating Albany politics, Katz was adamant that they use a lottery system to determine who wins the first licenses. “All applicants will have to have $1 million in an escrow account and are subject to stringent criminal background checks.”

Shortly before signing the Compassionate Care Act, Governor Cuomo added new language. Allowing New York governors, DOH Commissioners, and State Police to cancel the entire program at any time.

NY State Senator Diane Savino

NY State Senator Diane Savino

NY Senator Diane J. Savino (D-Staten Island) was instrumental in drafting the legislation. She implored the audience to get involved in the regulatory process. “We need your help to get these legislators on planes and into grow rooms and dispensaries. They need to see it for themselves.”The Marijuana Policy Project estimates that less than 6,000 New Yorkers will be eligible for the program.

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About Quantum9

Quantum 9, Inc. is a Chicago, IL-based cannabis consulting firm. We specialize in getting high net worth individuals and private equity cannabis business licenses to cultivate, manufacture and dispense marijuana. We have over 50 marijuana consultants that work for the company, and we have practiced in 12 countries. Our areas of expertise include permit acquisition, team building, employee training planning, and process planning. We help clients fully maximize the potential of any cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensary business.

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