A report from The City claims that Dormitory Authority of the State of New York CEO Reuben McDaniel may step down from the Office of Cannabis Management. The outlet wrote that the resignation is anticipated to be formally announced at a Thursday meeting of the OCM.
The OCM has not confirmed McDaniel’s departure according to the article in The City.
McDaniel has come under intense pressure by the New York cannabis community who are unhappy with the launch of the adult-use program. Specifically, there has been criticism from social justice applicants, called CAURD applicants, that DASNY has pressured them to take overpriced locations for dispensaries.
They also complain about being asked to sign loan agreements without knowing the terms and given inflated contractor bids for building out dispensaries.
The group has been vocal about wanting McDaniel to resign from the OCM as they saw it to be a conflict of interest.
DASNY was brought in by the OCM to create a fund to help CAURD applicants get access to the necessary capital to start these expensive operations. DASNY has not been successful at raising the funds and has been criticized for its lack of transparency.
The fund received $50 million from the state, but no one has been told what happened to the money or where it has been spent – or even if it has been spent. Many CAURD applicants have expressed interest in applying for some for those funds.
At a recent meeting, one participant repeatedly criticized McDaniel about numerous issues to the point that McDaniel walked off the stage.
McDaniel was overseeing the process for CAURD applicants in his role at DASNY with regard to finding locations and bringing in contractors for the dispensary design and vendors to provide back office software.
However, as a part of the OCM board he was also involved with approving licenses. Applicants felt he had a conflict of interest. They feared if they didn’t use the DASNY approved process, they would be denied a license. McDaniel did recuse himself repeatedly from approving retail licenses because of that conflict.