New York Cannabis Control Board’s Regulation of Adult-Use Marijuana

On September 22, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the final two appointees of the New York marijuana regulatory board. After the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York for adults over the age of 21, the state government implemented a Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management to regulate the adult use of marijuana. Statewide regulations for cannabis and its related products bring one of the United States’ biggest cash crops under the rule of law, though they currently vary substantially from state to state. Read below to learn more about New York’s Cannabis Control Board and what the Empire State is doing to enhance its existing marijuana regulatory system. 

Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act: The Basics

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act on March 31, 2021. Apart from regulating the adult use of cannabis, the legislation also created an Office of Cannabis Management to be monitored by a Cannabis Control Board. The Office of Cannabis Management is in charge of drafting and issuing regulations for the lawful use and sale of cannabis and hemp products. 

As stated in the new legislation, the Office of Cannabis Management oversees the licensure, cultivation, production, distribution, sale, and taxation of medical and adult-use cannabis items.

Regulatory Framework

New York’s Office of Cannabis Management aims to create a comprehensive regulatory framework. Their extensive regulatory structures focus on three key components: social justice initiatives, public health and safety, and economic development.

The social justice initiatives of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act center around economic equity programs to help communities disproportionately affected by prohibitions policies. The legislation states that “specific programs and progress shall be made by the cannabis control board and the office of cannabis management in achieving the goals of the social and economic equity plan, and other social justice goals including, but not limited to, restorative justice, minority- and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers and service-disabled veterans.”

Standards of production and manufacturing will be regulated under the public health and safety initiatives. The Office of Cannabis Management states that the production of cannabis products will be subject to strict regulations regarding manufacturing, testing, labeling, packaging, and advertising to avoid the attention of younger audiences. 

The third and final regulatory goal for New York’s Office of Cannabis Management is economic development. The economic development goal will focus on the creation of microbusinesses and cooperative and delivery license types for small businesses and farmers. The creation of these licenses aims to encourage smaller businesses and individuals to participate in the growing New York cannabis market. 

As marijuana markets and awareness grow, the attorneys at Ritter Spencer Cheng PLLC stay informed about the rapid changes occurring in the cannabis community. Chelsie Spencer is a trusted cannabis attorney who specializes in marijuana, hemp, and CBD law. Having worked with countless hemp and cannabis businesses, Chelsie offers years of experience and unique insights to help her clients. She also specializes in commercial litigation, trademark law, and copyright law. Contact Ritter Spencer Cheng or give us a call at 214.295.5070 for more information.