New York legalizes the use of cannabis by adults | Bressler, Amery and Ross, PC

After years of unsuccessful attempts, on March 31, 2021, Governor Cuomo enacted the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”) legalizing the use of cannabis by adults for adults over 21 years of age. . offices encompassing multiple license levels, automatic deletions, home growth and social equity provisions. Here are some of the strengths of the MRTA:

Regulatory framework: Establishes a Cannabis Management Board with a council of 5 members, of which 3 are to be appointed by the Governor and 1 by each legislative chamber, with the President subject to confirmation by the Senate. The MRTA also establishes a Cannabis Advisory Council to make recommendations to the Cannabis Control Board, Bureau and Legislature on Cannabis and Hemp, Cultivation, Processing, Distribution, Transportation, Fairness social and economic issues in the cannabis and hemp industries, criminal justice, public health and safety concerns, law enforcement regarding cannabis and cannabis products, and the testing and sale of cannabis. cannabis and cannabis products.

Taxes: Sets a 9% sales tax on cannabis, plus an additional 4% tax split between county and city / town / village, plus an additional tax based on THC content as follows: 0.5 cent per milligram for the flower, 0.8 cents per milligram for concentrated cannabis and 3 cents per milligram for edibles.

Types of license. The MRTA is considering the following types of licenses: cultivation, processing, cooperative, distributor, retail, delivery, on-site consumption and nursery licenses.

Community reinvestment: The MRTA devotes a portion of cannabis tax revenues to reinvestment in communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, with 40% in schools and public education, and 20% in treatment, prevention and prevention. drug addiction education. In addition, the MRTA is considering equity programs in the form of loans, grants and incubation programs to ensure broad opportunities for participation in the new legal industry by people from disproportionately affected communities as well as by small farmers. The MRTA has set a target of 50% of the licenses granted to applicants for capital. A main equity office is also provided to oversee the development and implementation of the social and economic equity plan, and ensure that the Cannabis Control Board and Cannabis Management Office continually comply. in terms of social and economic equity.

Home culture: The law will allow individuals to plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, process or possess a maximum of 3 mature cannabis plants and 3 immature cannabis plants at any one time, subject to regulation by the Office of Cannabis Management. In addition, the MRTA provides that no more than six mature and six immature cannabis plants may be grown, harvested, dried or possessed in a private residence or on the grounds of a person’s private residence.

Home possession: The law allows a person to legally possess up to 5 pounds of cannabis in their private residence or by virtue of that person’s private residence.

Previous penalties: Elimination of penalties for possession of less than three ounces of cannabis. Automatic deletion of the files of people who have already been convicted of activities which are no longer criminalized.

Current operators: Allows current registered organizations limited access to the adult use market in exchange for license fees that will help fund equity programs. The legislation prohibits vertical integration for all other licensees, except micro-enterprises, in order to prevent the retail sector from being controlled by larger cannabis producers, and establishes a objective of 50% of licenses granted to capital applicants.

Before sales of adult cannabis can take place, the state will need to put in place regulatory mechanisms and rules for production and allow retailers to sell it. Companies can take advantage of this time to bring their production into compliance. Bressler lawyers have extensive experience assisting cannabis companies in the areas of regulation and legal compliance. We look forward to working with New York clients on this historic change. For more information or assistance, please contact us.

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