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NY, Conn. govs seek regional approach on marijuana, vaping

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, left, speaks as New

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, left, speaks as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo listens during a press conference, Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Hartford, Conn. The two governors announced a strategic partnership between Connecticut and New York to develop a uniform regional approach to policies on e-cigarettes and legal cannabis. Photo Credit: AP/Susan Haigh

 ALBANY -- New York and Connecticut will try to develop a “uniform, regional” approach to marijuana and electronic cigarettes, the states’ governors announced Wednesday.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and health, law enforcement and other officials from the two states will convene Oct. 17 to attempt to develop “guidelines and principles” that could influence the development of oversight in each state.

 “Polices governing vaping products and recreational marijuana will require regional symmetry because it makes little sense for one state to do something if a neighboring state has a totally different policy,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Without coordination, you end up incentivizing people to drive over the border to buy a different or cheaper product.”

Among the cannabis issues, the states will try to tackle taxation, product safety and testing, advertising and financial services, the governors said.

Legislative attempts to legalize recreational marijuana in New York and Connecticut failed earlier this year. Meanwhile, some of the New York’s neighboring states have moved forward.

 Massachusetts has legalized sales and authorized at least 10 “pot shop” stores. Vermont has legalized possession and growth of marijuana but lawmakers still are yet to approve tax and sales regulations.

New York and Connecticut are soon to implement restrictions on the sale of vaping products to anyone younger than 21; New York also has banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

On Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker imposed a four-month halt on the sale of all vaping products while proposing a permanent ban.

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