Political Odds & Ends, Dec. 13, 2021


Sanders, Jackson Hosts Conversation on the Emerging Cannabis Market In New York

State Senator James Sanders Jr. 
Assembly Member Chantel Jackson

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) and Assembly Member Chantel Jackson (D-Bronx) today are holding a community conversation on the emerging cannabis market in New York. This event is hosted in collaboration with Assembly Member Chantel Jackson. 

This is the first conversation of its kind ever in New York State. Don’t miss this historic opportunity to hear from top experts and activists, leaders of reputable and highly successful cannabis organizations from all over the country bringing together different ideas and strategies from every aspect of the cannabis world in order to map out the most equitable implementation of the newly enacted Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA)

The primary goal of this discussion is to ensure that the legislation will facilitate community economic development and cultural institutional building in neighborhoods most impacted by the war on drugs. Therefore the featured speakers represent a variety of fields such as: social justice, education, finance, horticulture, and retail.

There are three specific areas of focus at the event are Labor & Workforce in the Cannabis Industry, CannaBusiness Development, and Finance and Banking.

The event is slated for 12 noon – 5 p.m., today, Dec. 13 at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) – Room 711 A198 State Street in Albany.

Richardson Closes Office Due to COVID Outbreak

Assembly Member Diana Richardson

Assemblywoman Diana Richardson (D-Brooklyn) announced in her e-newsletter on Friday that her office will close for the foreseeable future due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

“I have instructed everyone to quarantine and we are reaching out to anyone we have come in contact with this week,” Richardson wrote. “My constituents always come first, so hopefully we can return to work as soon as possible.

“This is also a reminder to all of us that COVID-19 is still a risk and to remain vigilant. Please stay safe and healthy, we a mask and please get vaccinated,” she added.

AG James Warns of Faulty Hearing Aids

Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday issued a consumer alert warning New Yorkers about deceptive companies selling unregulated and potentially faulty over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. 

New York law requires that hearing aids only be sold by licensed audiologists or hearing aid dispensers after such a provider has performed an exam and fitting. Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a rule permitting the sale of a new category of OTC hearing aids that could be sold directly to consumers without an exam. 

While unregulated OTC hearing aids may work as intended, there is a risk that the devices could be defective or completely inadequate for the treatment of hearing loss. Advertisements for these new OTC hearing aids have already targeted New York consumers even though there are currently no OTC hearing aids that have received FDA approval.

“Hearing loss impacts individuals of all ages and backgrounds and I urge all New Yorkers to do their research before shopping for these devices,” said James. “Companies that sell over-the-counter hearing devices are not held to the same standards as the licensed professionals who provide these critical devices, and they are not required to inform consumers of the risks associated with their products. While consumers may be tempted to purchase these unregulated and unlawful products because of their low prices, the ultimate price you pay may be further hearing loss.”

Know your rights: Under New York law (General Business Law § 798(11)), if you are unhappy with your hearing aids you are allowed to return them within 45 days of receipt, including batteries, cords, and accessories and all fees related to the hearing aid, for a full refund less 10 percent. The seller must provide you with a written statement with this information. If a seller offers a longer return period, they must honor it.