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State adds 2 marijuana meetings, including in Suffolk County

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office also provided venues for the listening sessions.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Manhattan on Sept.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Manhattan on Sept. 18. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Two listening sessions on recreational marijuana, including one in Suffolk County, have been added to the 15 previously announced meetings "due to community interest," the governor's office said Friday.

There are also now venues across the state for all of the public sessions, which are being held to provide input on a regulated program. The sessions will be from 6 to 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

The Nassau County session will be at Hofstra University's Student Amphitheater in Hempstead on Thursday.

Suffolk County's newly announced session will be in the Clarion Conference Center at 3845 Veterans Memorial Hwy. in Ronkonkoma on Oct. 16.

"As we begin the process of creating a model regulated marijuana program, it is critical that we reach communities across the state in order to hear what New Yorkers have to say," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a news release. "By adding two additional listening sessions to our schedule, we can ensure that all New Yorkers who wish to have their voice heard have the opportunity to do so."

Three of the sessions have already been held since Sept. 5. The newly added final session is in Westchester County on Oct. 17.

More information and registration is available on ny.gov.

On Aug. 2, Cuomo directed a state panel to draft legislation to allow recreational marijuana use. A law allowing the open sale of marijuana could be enacted in the legislative session that begins in January, the governor said.

The state approved legislation in 2014 that legalized marijuana for medical use.

Cynthia Nixon, who debated Cuomo at Hofstra University and lost to him in the Democratic primary, had called for legalizing recreational marijuana.

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