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Scapegoat or solution? Ouster of top New York marijuana official raises questions

The exit of Chris Alexander, the top state official overseeing New York’s rollout of adult-use marijuana sales, is seen by many as assigning blame for what has been decried as the country’s worst cannabis market launch to date.

More than three years after New York legalized adult use, only 122 stores were open for business statewide, and the market’s $123 million in 2023 sales was only about one-quarter of projections.


But whether Alexander’s departure as executive director of the state Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) will mean a turnaround – or whether his replacement, to be assigned by Gov. Kathy Hochul upon completion of Alexander’s term in September, will be any better – is far from clear, industry observers told MJBizDaily on Monday.

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