On Thursday, governors representing Northeastern states met at a marijuana summit where they came up with a marijuana legalization plan which they plan to pursue in the year 2020.
The summit was organized by the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor, Ned Lamont. In attendance were New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, and Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf as well as representatives from Colorado, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
In his opening statements, Cuomo said that forming a legalization plan is essential. He also said that coming up with a marijuana legalization plan is challenging, complicated, controversial, and consequential, which all have to be addressed in the state of New York and the neighboring states. He said that it is consequential because if done wrong, it can cause much harm while all they want is, to do right.
The summit is divided into five sessions, which include vaping and related issues, consequences of cannabis on the health of the public, the safety of the people, market regulations, and issues of social justice and marijuana best practices.
Cuomo said that while it is a challenge for all of them, they have the desire to do it right for the people of New York and the surrounding states because if done wrong, it would cause much harm to the people and the states.
Governor Lamont, during a session last month, said that working together with the other states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, ensures that they are doing it on a standardized, well-regulated basis while ensuring the safety of the public. He added that working together makes them stronger.
During the sessions, the governors agreed on an ideal tax system for marijuana, and certain limitations should be imposed on licensing to ensure a fair and competitive market. The tax system is meant to curb the surge in consumption.
The system will also include social equity initiatives, which will ensure that those affected by the prohibition of cannabis such as the inclusion of small and diverse businesses in the cannabis industry are granted access, said the officials.
The system also aims at implementing social justice reforms in connection to cannabis policy, such as expediting pardons and waiving fees for people convicted for possession or consumption of marijuana.
To promote public health, the governors agreed on restricting methods of consumption and advertising. Advertisement targeting the youths should be banned and strict fines on those found selling weed to under 21 will be imposed. Also, campaigns educating the youth on the health and safety consequences of marijuana use will be conducted.
The governors also agreed that law enforcement officers should be trained in recognition of impaired driving to ensure public safety.
Regulations on vaping products were set, which banned flavored cartridges, prevented the use of adulterants, and issued a requirement for labeling, as well as the prohibition of selling vaping products to people under 21.
The Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, said that the principles they have all agreed on would help them tackle some of the challenging issues facing their states such as social injustices, public safety, the illicit cannabis market, and vaping-related illnesses.
Analysts believe that cannabis industry actors like Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTCQB: NUGS) and Chemistree Technology Inc. (CSE: CHM) (OTCQB: CHMJF) can only wait to see how well the states implement what their governors have agreed upon during this summit.
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