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On March 31, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) legalizing adult-use cannabis in New York State. In doing so, New York became the 15 th state in the United States to legalize cannabis use.

As a result of the enactment of the MRTA, New York established the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). The OCM will regulate and control the cultivation, processing, manufacture, distribution, transportation, and sale of cannabis in New York. This includes medical cannabis, adult-use or “retail” cannabis and cannabinoid hemp.

Below we’ve gathered key facts about New York State’s adult-use and medical cannabis programs. These facts, and more information on the cannabis program in New York, can be found at the websites listed at the end of this post.

Cannabis Law and Hemp/CBD Law

Our 5/27 /21 Webinar “Understanding Marijuana Legalization In Your Community” was recorded. Request a copy here.

Cannabis, or marijuana is a controlled substance which is illegal to possess, use, or distribute in New York State. Medical marijuana, however, is legal in New York State although adult recreational use remains prohibited. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana was placed in Schedule I, which defines the substance as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

We are ready to help New York businesses entering the cannabis and hemp industries by assisting with hemp and recreational adult-use marijuana licenses under the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. We can also provide legal direction with corporation formation and general business, real estate, land use, zoning, and environmental concerns as your new business takes shape.

New York Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) Blog Series (6/8/21)

New York State Governor Hochel announced Tremaine Wright will serve as Chair of the Cannabis Control Board and Christopher Alexander will Serve as Executive Director of Office of Cannabis Management in a press release dated September 1, 2021.


Even as Governor Hochul pushes to restart the stalled marijuana legalization momentum in New York State, there’s yet another roadblock to tackle: the growing concern over the environmental impacts of the budding cannabis industry.

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Will the Municipal Opt-Out Kill the MRTA’s Buzz? (5/27/21)

On March 31, 2021, New York State became the 17th state to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana through the enactment of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”). Many are taking a budding interest in legalization and are looking to enter the market, whether merely as a consumer or as a commercial adult-use recreational marijuana licensee. But the municipal power to “opt-out” of hosting retail dispensaries and/or public consumption facilities within the municipal borders threatens to be a buzzkill. Just what is concerning municipalities? And how can the public get involved?

Marissa Weiss, Esq., an associate attorney at the Walden-based firm Jacobowitz & Gubits, offers some guidance regarding the municipal opt-out power and how the public can get involved in the discussion.

A shortened version of this blog appeared in the June 12, 2021 edition of Chronogram Magazine on-line.

New York Legalizes Marijuana (3/31/21)

New York has become the 15th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Gov. Cuomo signed the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act into law today. Immediately, anyone over the age of 21 may legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana. Smoking marijuana is permitted wherever tobacco smoking is allowed, but is not permitted in a car, schools, or workplaces. Legal sales of marijuana are a year away or more. Also on the horizon are retail dispensaries, premises for on-site consumption, home deliveries, and the ability to grow up to six plants at home. A new Office of Cannabis Management is charged with drafting regulations and licenses for cannabis growers, processers, and sellers. The law is very extensive and detailed and we have just begun to analyze it. Whether you are a municipality, employer, entrepreneur, or recreational user, we will have more information for you in the weeks and months ahead.

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New York is about to Legalize Marijuana (3/30/21)

As you may have heard, New York State is on the cusp of legalizing marijuana in ways that will impact individuals, businesses, and municipalities. Adults over the age of 21 will be permitted to purchase marijuana for recreational use and also to grow a small number of plants for personal consumption. Businesses will be able to sell marijuana for retail take-away or on-site consumption. Taxes on sales will benefit municipalities, but municipalities will also have the ability to opt out of allowing retail or on-site establishments within their boundaries. Although the law will likely be enacted soon, a year of writing regulations is anticipated before sales begin. We are watching developments closely and will keep you apprised of progress. Stay tuned and please contact us if you have any questions.

Are you looking to become a New York State Cannabinoid Hemp Processor, Retailer or Distributor? (2/22/21)

On February 22, 2021, Governor Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Health’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program is now accepting license applications from businesses seeking to operate as cannabinoid hemp processors, retailers or distributors. You can access the application here. The Cannabinoid Hemp Program (

The Cannabinoid Hemp Retail License is $300 per location and the Distributor permit is also $300 for the application fee. If you are looking to become an extracting and manufacturer, those fees jump to $1,000 for the application fee and $4,500 for the license fee.

The Cannabinoid Hemp Program is licensing cannabinoid hemp processors, distributors and retailers and setting quality control standards that all cannabinoid hemp products must meet including manufacturing, packaging and labeling and laboratory testing requirements. The Program will help organize and legitimize the growing cannabinoid hemp industry in New York State while simultaneously protecting consumers from sub-standard and potentially dangerous products.

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Any business selling or intending to sell cannabinoid hemp products to consumers in New York State must be licensed as a Cannabinoid Hemp Retailer. Distributors of cannabinoid hemp products manufactured outside of New York State must obtain a Cannabinoid Hemp Distributor Permit to sell cannabinoid hemp products to Cannabinoid Hemp Retailers in New York.

J&G can assist with land purchasing or leasing; forming business entities or partnerships; obtaining licenses and permits, including land use approvals; negotiating and drafting contracts of all kinds; borrowing, employment, tax, and all other legal issues facing a business.

We are here to help. Visit us at or call 845-764-9656.

NYSDOH Finally Releases New Hemp Regulation (11/20/2020)

Here is an article written by Marissa Weiss, Esq. on the new proposed legislation Click here to read this article.

Freshly Baked: Insight into NY’s New Hemp Laws (2/18/2020)

Here is an article written by Marissa Weiss, Esq. on the new legislation effective March 9, 2020. Click here to read this article.

Marissa’s article was published in part on Chronogram on 2/15/20. You can read that version here.

Contact us if you have any questions about the growing business of industrial hemp.