MPP opens New York office, hires ex-US senator as senior adviser

A national marijuana industry advocacy group is opening a New York office in hopes of strengthening the state’s medical marijuana program and, possibly, increasing business opportunities.

Marijuana Policy Project has hired former Republican U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato to serve as a senior adviser for New York and added community organizer Landon Dais to serve as political director in the Empire State, according to the New York Daily News.

D’Amato – a U.S. senator from 1981 to ’99 – told the newspaper that MPP’s agenda in New York includes lobbying for a bill to make medical marijuana available for veterans in the state who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

MMJ businesses in states that add PTSD to their qualifying lists typically see an increase in patient counts.

Despite recently doubling the number of business licenses to 10, New York’s MMJ program is still woefully small considering the state’s population.

D’Amato also didn’t rule out the possibility of lobbying for New York to legalize recreational marijuana for adults.