The New York Senate released an amended version of the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act for consideration ahead of the Legislature’s 2019 session end on June 19th. The legislation was originally introduced in January and will regulate, tax and control marihuana like alcohol. Most notably, the amended version incorporates the provisions related to the cultivation of hemp required to implement the 2018 Farm Bill.
According to the legislation, there are roughly 1.5 million regular marijuana users in New York with half living in New York City. The state estimates that the market for marijuana in New York is $3.1 billion. The state also projects an estimated $436 million in tax revenue with an additional $336 million in tax revenue in New York City.
What changed in the amended version?
The legislation changes the term marihuana (as used in Michigan) to cannabis.
The state must identify and expunge eligible convictions six (6) months of the law’s effective date, and vacate or dismiss any terminated proceedings. Persons who are currently serving a prison sentence may ask to be re-sentenced if the person would be subject to a lesser offense under the new law.
A twenty percent (20%) tax is charged on the transfer of adult-use cannabis from a wholesaler to a retail dispensary or from a retail dispensary to the consumer.
An additional 2 percent (2%) tax is charged on the transfer of adult-use cannabis from a wholesaler to a retail dispensary or from a retail dispensary to the consumer for the county in which the dispensary is located.
The Office of Cannabis Management is charged with establishing a licensing an oversight regime for the growth, extraction, processing, and manufacturing of hemp for derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts or isomers and/or hemp products for human or animal consumption.
The legislation authorizes the development of regulations governing the cultivation, sale, distribution, and transportation of industrial hemp in the state. The legislation will treat hemp products that are intended for consumption by humans or animals like cannabis.
The New York state cannabis revenue fund will allocate money will fund the cost associated with running the office of cannabis management. The money will also be allocated for the collection of data related to the cannabis market and to fund research on the health and safety issues related to the consumption of cannabis.