Tague Slams Announcement That the Office of Cannabis Management Will Fund and Prioritize Criminal Applicants, Snubbing NY Farmers

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie) is speaking out today following news that 100 or more retail cannabis dispensary licenses issued by New York state will be reserved for people with drug-related convictions, and the governor intends to allocate $200 million in taxpayer funds to help these licensees start their businesses. However, no-such support will be offered for distressed farmers that had often been discussed by proponents of the bill passed in 2021 that legalized cannabis in the state.

“We have always heard since we were kids crime doesn't pay,” said Tague. “Well that has all changed today, and now in New York it does.

Tague does not believe criminals should be ahead of others in this licensing process, and that bankrolling them to the tune of $200 million to open their dispensaries is even insulting. Instead, he’s argued that funding should be going toward ensuring the survival of distressed farmers who will be growing this cannabis and were told they’d benefit from cannabis’ legalization.

“Our farmers are in a tougher position than ever, and it’s despicable that the promise made to them by our state’s Majority leadership has been torn apart for the sake of helping people who broke our laws and inflicted real harm on rural and urban communities alike,” said Tague.