Marijuana Legalization Meeting Tuesday As Brooklyn’s First Dispensary Is Planned

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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – The office of Governor Andrew Cuomo is holding a listening session on Tuesday in Downtown Brooklyn to gather feedback on proposed plans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New York State.

202 Flatbush Avenue where Citiva’s medical marijuana facility will open later this year (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

The Brooklyn meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 25 from 6pm to 8pm at the Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, Kumble Theater, One University Plaza (at Flatbush & Dekalb). Attendees will be able to weigh in on the NYS plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

New York State is conducting a series of 15 listening sessions on regulated marijuana use across the State from September to October. The goal of these pubic meetings is to hear the community’s input on the implementation of the program.

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Brooklyn is the fifth leg of the 15-spot statewide listening tour which began in Albany on September 5. The Bronx and Manhattan held sessions earlier this month as well. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance.

Staff from Governor Cuomo’s office and the State’s Health Department will be in attendance at tomorrow’s meeting. Attendees wishing to speak at the event will be given two minutes to voice their comments and/or concerns.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the sessions include:

  • Reducing the harms of illicit marijuana through consumer protections, industry safety, and quality control
  • Decreasing the unregulated market
  • Establishing an age limit (21 and over) and reducing pot smoking in youth
  • Ensuring that communities most affected by the criminalization of marijuana can participate in and benefit from a regulated market
  • Addressing the criminal records of those with marijuana-related offenses

Tuesday’s meeting comes as the arrival of Brooklyn’s first medical marijuana dispensary is imminent. In February, Citiva Medical, LLC signed a lease for its flagship dispensary at 202 Flatbush Avenue (between Dean & Bergen Streets) across from the Barclays Center on the border of Park Slope and Prospect Heights.

Construction on the 2,000-square-foot dispensary is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Once completed, Citiva’s Flatbush Avenue location will be one of two medical marijuana dispensaries in Brooklyn. A Valley Agriceuticals facility is also slated to open in the borough, according to High Times. There are currently ten medicinal cannabis providers licensed in New York State.

Citiva will offer patients holding New York State-issued medical marijuana cards oils, vape pens, pills, and topical ointments, according to Brooklyn Paper, but not edibles or the actual marijuana itself due to NYS law which only permits the sale of concentrates.

In June of this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a change in New York City’s policing policy on pot smoking in public, having officers issue a summons instead of arresting violators—unless the smoker has been arrested for a violent crime in the last three years, is on parole/probation, has an open warrant, or is considered to be a threat to the public.

In May, the Mayor announced a one-year pilot program that will provide four supervised injection facilities for New Yorkers suffering from opioid addiction. The Brooklyn safe injection facility will be located at Vocal New York at 80 4th Avenue, just a few blocks away from Citiva’s new medical marijuana dispensary.

To learn more about the New York State Regulated Marijuana Listening Sessions, go to www.nys.gov.

Brooklyn – New York State Regulated Marijuana Listening Session
Tuesday, September 25, 6pm to 8pm
Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, Kumble Theater, One University Plaza (at Flatbush & Dekalb)
Register here.

Additional reporting by Kadia Goba.

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