FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2022
Common Council & Mayor Noble Announce Marijuana Task Force Members
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble and Common Council President Andrea Shaut are pleased to announce that the nine members of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) task force have been selected.
The MRTA task force members will be: Joseph Baganz, Essie Baker, Amberly Jane Campbell, Stuart Chernoff, Jeremy Cherson, Steve Ellman, Mandy Geyer, Willie Johnson, and John Mazzone.
The MRTA task force will meet periodically over 12 months and its mission will be to help guide the City in our limited authority over the time, place and manner of retail operations. The task force will help to amplify community voices regarding enforcement concerns and goals for how MRTA tax proceeds can be reinvested to achieve the law’s social equity objectives.
“Marijuana regulation is new for all of us and we want to make sure we support this new industry in the right ways, to ensure that our residents benefit from this economic development opportunity,” said Mayor Noble. “I thank the members of this task force who will guide us in this effort.”
Council President Andrea Shaut said, “The MRTA task force is a proactive measure and useful tool for Kingston to move forward in the industry in a way that can focus on social justice and fairness to all. This is an opportunity for the City to consider the wrongs of previous laws, and how they unjustly held back members of our society. We now have the chance to do it better, and with this team, I have the confidence they will carry their wide range of perspectives to do just that. I would like to thank all applicants – we had to select from an impressive group of folks. I would also like to thank Corporation Counsel Barbara Graves-Poller for her role in establishing the task force.”
New York State continues to develop regulations related to adult use of cannabis (marijuana), revising long-standing law enforcement policies and creating new business opportunities throughout the State. The City has not opted out of allowing licensing for local dispensaries and on-site consumption. While the NY State Office of Cannabis Management will control that process, the City of Kingston is creating a task force to gather community input regarding these policy changes.