NOTE ON PROGRAMMING: We will be off for Thanksgiving this Thursday and Friday, but will return to our regular schedule on Monday November 28th.
Hello, and welcome to Monday’s New York Health Care newsletter, where we keep you up to date on what’s happening this week in health care news, and provide you with a look back at important news from the past week.
Today is the day! Nearly two months after the application deadline — and nearly two years after the state legalized marijuana — cannabis regulators are expected to approve New York’s first adult-use retail dispensary licenses.
The Cannabis Control Board should deal with some applications for conditional adult use retail dispensary licenses at its meeting this morning. In total, the state will award 150 CAURD licenses, which are restricted to New Yorkers with business experience and prior marijuana convictions. About three dozen nominees will appear before the judging panel for approval today.
The expected action comes despite a legal challenge that has rod the state to move forward with CAURD licenses in five of the program’s 14 geographic regions, putting approximately 60 licenses on hold. And that number could increase if similar lawsuits arise against other regions.
But as the Cannabis Control Commission finally moves forward with the first dispensary licenses, it’s still unclear how long it will be before New Yorkers can legally buy marijuana — or whether the state will meet its year-end goal for at least some legal sales. The Office of Cannabis Management noted in a resolution that applicants approved today “should not commence operations until completion of a secondary supplemental application to the satisfaction of the Office, including completion of a notification to the appropriate municipality where the adult conditional retail dispensary will be located.”
Candidates who obtain licenses will receive support a new social equity fund, which will provide them with retail locations and funding for other start-up expenses. The New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund announced Friday that 10 business teams have won bids to design and build 150 turnkey sites.
The Social Equity Services Company says it “currently works identify dispensary sites that will be leased by the fund’s operating subsidiary and sub-leased to dispensary operators. This process, he noted, is “ongoing and is expected to continue until 2023”.
… In addition to approving the first dispensary licenses, the Cannabis Control Council will also pass proposed new regulations for the Adult Use Program that would fully launch New York’s Adult Use Program. The Office of Cannabis Management released these regulations over the weekend. If approved, these proposed rules will enter a 60-day public comment period.
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INCORRECT PAYMENTS – POLITICO’s Shannon Young: New York’s outdated unemployment insurance system likely contributed to at least $11 billion in abusive payments during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an audit by state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
The report released on Tuesday examined the claims made through the state Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance system from January 2020 to March 2022 — a period during which claims skyrocketed due to pandemic-related job losses. He found that the state’s failure to replace the outdated system as long advised, coupled with “ad hoc workarounds”, led to “weakened oversight and ultimately contributed to billions of dollars in payments inappropriate”.
BUDGET REQUESTS — Joseph Spector of POLITICO: Tighten your seat belts. That’s the message from the Hochul administration this week in a memo to state commissioners who have been told not to increase their spending demands for the next fiscal year that begins April 1.
Hochul will present his budget proposal to lawmakers in late January. Late Tuesday, Budget Director Robert Mujica wrote to the commissioners of the state’s 59 executive agencies, telling them not to seek operating budget increases beyond this year’s allocation. He cited growing deficits and an uncertain economy.
… State Budget Fiscal Plan Projects $148 Million Deficit next fiscal year which is expected to reach $3.5 billion in fiscal year 2025-26 and $6 billion in fiscal year 2027-28. Mujica said the state was increasing its reserve funds to prepare for any downturn, but limited spending would be needed. The state budget approved last April reached a record $220 billion, with a 7% increase in school aid.
WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU: This roundup is for you! Send topical tips, health tips, ideas, reviews and corrections to [email protected].
NOW WE KNOW — “Pfizer said Friday that its updated COVID-19 recall may offer some protection against emerging new omicron mutants, although it is not an exact match,” reports the Associated Press.
TIP OF THE DAY — Check out the USDA’s answers to frequently asked questions about food safety before you cook Thanksgiving dinner.
MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW Shannon @ShannonYoung413 on Twitter. And for all New Jersey health news, check out Daniel Han, @danieljhan_.
STUDY THIS – Via the Los Angeles Times: “As the NFL sought to resume play during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some teams opting to allow fans into stadiums, league officials insisted on the fact that football crowds had no negative impact on public health. … But new research suggests that even at significantly reduced capacity, stadiums with 20,000 or more people were associated with subsequent spikes in cases in surrounding communities.
The union of time reports on how suicide deaths among Capital Region paramedics are sparking a ‘surge for advice, support’.
A new report of New York City’s public advocate suggests Mayor Eric Adams’ efforts to tackle mental health have failed, reports The New York Times.
A mass shooting on Saturday at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub killed at least five people and injured more than a dozen others, CNN reports.
The Wall Street Journal breaks down “what symptoms to watch out for and when to be concerned” as RSV cases increase.
“A federal judge on Friday sentenced disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes to more than 11 years in prison,” the Associated Press reported.
Kaiser Health News reports that “the popularity of home covid testing has amplified calls from public health researchers and diagnostic companies to make home testing as routine for sexually transmitted diseases. But FDA guidelines are lagging behind.
STAT examines how “mRNA-based drugs with a built-in ‘cop’ could lead to safer and more effective therapies. »
“Pharmaceutical companies may be required to disclose prices and agreements reached for any products they manufacture to combat future global health emergencies, under new rules that would govern a World Health Organization-backed pandemic deal,” reports Reuters.
POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein and Megan Messerly report that abortion opponents are pushing the GOP to campaign more openly and loudly against the procedure after the party suffered a series of losses in House, Senate, legislative initiative and state election.
Government veteran Lorraine Grillo, who runs City Hall as first deputy to Mayor Eric Adams, is stepping down in the coming weeks, POLITICO’s Sally Goldernberg reports.
Governor Kathy Hochul won an unexpectedly competitive election as feuding Democrats reluctantly put aside their ideological differences to avoid wasting the governorship, POLITICO’s Anna Gronewold reports. His next challenge will be to try to replicate that peace.
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