Rick Zahnleuter has resigned as chief lawyer for New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).

According to Syracuse.com, NY Cannabis Insider was the first to report on the news via an email sent from OCM spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman, which read: 

“The entire staff of the Office of Cannabis Management wants to thank Rick Zahnleuter for his work getting the office up and running. Rick came out of retirement to lend his expertise to our office as we launched New York’s cannabis industry. Thanks to Rick’s work, the Seeding Opportunity Initiative is in full motion with regulations finalized for the cannabis supply chain; for farmers, for production facilities, and for our first retail dispensaries. And thanks to all that work, we’re in a great place to bring on a new general counsel to shepherd our office and New York’s Cannabis Industry into the future. We deeply appreciate all Rick has done for our state.”

According to the news outlet, the OCM appointed Zahnleuter as general counsel in October 2021, after he retired from his role as general counsel from the New York State Department of Health in 2020.

New York is currently working on launching its adult-use program and the state’s Cannabis Control Board recently approved regulations that govern the state’s forthcoming adult-use market, as previously reported by Cannabis Business Times.

The regulations would “ensure that the first round of dispensary licenses go to applicants with past cannabis-related convictions,” CBT reported.