BATAVIA — The county may keep drawing on a grant from the state Department of Health in order to continue addressing the opioid crisis in county communities.
The Genesee County Human Services and Ways and Means committees supported the proposed grant acceptance during their meetings Monday.
“This is the fifth year of the funding we’ve received from the state …” Public Health Director Paul Pettit said. “Most of all the overdoses we’re seeing right now, there’s really no heroin involved or anything. It’s all fentanyl, or whatever synthetic.”
Legislature Chairwoman Rochelle Stein mentioned news reports of children consuming cannabidiol, or CBD, and the harm it does to children.
“Is any of your funding able to address that and make homes safer?” she asked.
Pettit said the funding can’t address that directly.
“In the homes of … potentially some of the Healthy Neighborhoods funding we just received, because we’ll be at the homes, looking at them for safety issues within the homes,” Pettit said. “With new, regulated marijuana’s starting, so we’ll be receiving some funds, presumably for education and trying to work on that angle when that comes to pass. Currently, this funding is primarily just for the opioid epidemic.”
Stein asked if a survey is done regarding marijuana consumables.
“I haven’t seen one yet,” the public health director said.
Stein said, “I imagine your department would be engaged.”
“We hope so,” Pettit said. “We’re at the table with the formation and advocacy groups, the advisory board that was set up with the new Office of Cannabis Management. We’re not, directly, but our association is on that. We do believe we’ll be part of that — hopefully, the educational arm, trying to provide information to the public.”
Pettit said the $72,000 in the grant is the same amount the county’s been awarded in the past.
“It was a three-year grant originally — $72,000 a year. This is year five, so they did the three years, extended it for a fourth year and this is the fifth-year extension. We don’t know if they’ll continue after that or not,” he said.
If the county accepts the funding, it will run through Aug. 31.
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