Report by Paula Antolini, September 25, 2019, 2:37PM EDT
States to Hold Summit with Key Law Enforcement, State Health and Policy Officials in October to Develop Guidelines and Principles for Vaping and Legalization of Cannabis
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a strategic partnership between Connecticut and New York to develop a uniform regional approach to policies on e-cigarettes and legal cannabis. On October 17, officials from law enforcement, state health officials, and policy makers representing both states will hold a summit to develop guidelines and principles that will benefit the two states’ vaping oversight and cannabis legalization and help keep Connecticut and New York residents safe.
“It was wonderful to have Governor Andrew Cuomo in Connecticut to discuss issues that are important to both of our states,” Governor Lamont said. “We not only share borders, but we share economic interests, public health priorities, and a joint understanding that the more states work together on these kinds of issues, the better the policy results will be for our residents. Every day thousands of New Yorkers travel over the border to work in Connecticut, and thousands of Connecticut commuters rely on New York for their livelihood. To that end, it’s common sense for our states to be aligned in numerous policy areas. Governor Cuomo and I have the chance to be leaders together on these issues of public importance, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
“We are serious in this state about legalizing recreational use of marijuana, but it has to be done right. At the same time the federal government has refused to step up during this vaping crisis, so it is up to the states to develop policies that will help keep people safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “Policies governing vaping products and recreational marijuana will require regional symmetry because it makes little sense for one state to do something if a neighboring state has a totally different policy – without coordination, you end up incentivizing people to drive over the border to buy a different or cheaper product. I thank Governor Lamont for working together on this issue and look forward to continuing this conversation during the upcoming summit.”
Vaping regulation and cannabis legalization will be heavily influenced by the geographical proximity and traffic flow between Connecticut and New York. With consumers of vaping and cannabis products expected to be transferring products across state lines, next month’s summit will examine a number of factors that will influence state policies on the products.
For recreational cannabis, these include but are not limited to: taxation, product safety and testing, product availability and advertising, roadside testing, banking and financial services, and necessary social justice and equity considerations in the legalization framework.