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New York State agencies haven’t touched millions sitting in medical marijuana funds | Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news

An NYCI investigation has found that two New York State agencies are sitting on millions of dollars collected from medical marijuana taxes, but neither has spent the money — despite a mandate that the funds be used for public health and safety initiatives. As of Feb. 28, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports and Division of Criminal…
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An NYCI investigation has found that two New York State agencies are sitting on millions of dollars collected from medical marijuana taxes, but neither has spent the money — despite a mandate that the funds be used for public health and safety initiatives.

As of Feb. 28, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports and Division of Criminal Justice Services has $1.6 million and $1.4 million (respectively) sitting in the funds. That money has accumulated since 2014, when the state mandated that a portion of medical marijuana revenue be set aside for the agencies to use toward addiction support and criminal justice services.

“Why aren’t they drawing down this money, and why is it sitting there?” said State Senator Diane Savino, who sponsored New York’s medical marijuana bill. “It’s not like there isn’t a need,” she said.

The senator also said she wasn’t aware the funds sat untouched until NYCI contacted her.

“Just spend it — allocate it and send it out the door,” Savino said, adding that she would send a formal letter to each agency asking for an explanation.

The language within state law is unambiguous: It says the Division of Criminal Justice Services “shall” use the money “for a program of discretionary grants to state and local law enforcement agencies that demonstrate a need.” [Read more at syracuse.com]

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