Warwick Valley LDC supports effort to legalize marijuana

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WARWICK – The Warwick Valley Local Development Corporation is supporting the governor’s latest efforts to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana.

The LDC said there are significant economic opportunities in the cannabis industry and has been working for the last 18 months with the Orange County Industrial Development Agency and its Accelerator, to support hemp and medical marijuana development at the Warwick Tech Park.

The work in Warwick has already produced results creating jobs and incentivizing investment, LDC officials said.

Because other states have been able to get a head start in the marijuana industry and because New York is desperate for additional revenue during the COVID pandemic, the Warwick LDC has recommended to the governor and legislature that any plan for legalization create a fast track for licensing existing hemp and medical marijuana license holders in the state.

That will leverage existing infrastructure that can be transitioned for use in the legalized marijuana industry almost immediately, helping farmers and creating economic activity now when it is needed most, LDC officials said.

The LDC officials said they will ask Albany to keep fees manageable so smaller companies and companies that are already heavily-invested in New York’s hemp and medical marijuana industry do not face a financial obstacle to entering the recreational marijuana market.