With Friday’s deadline expiring for New York City municipalities to refuse to allow retailers and marijuana consumption sites in their jurisdictions, hundreds of cities and towns across the state will allow cannabis companies to work.
However, there are still a significant number of areas where the cannabis trade will not be immediately cleared, with a Rockefeller Institute list of 642 dispensary removals and 733 consumption site removals on Sunday.
But while the institute dashboard is regularly updated, it notes that it “does not represent official information in real time on the withdrawal decisions of municipalities”.
â¦ .Information from municipalities will continue to flow over the next few weeks, so my watch is not over yet. the @RockefellerInst will continue to update the marijuana withdrawal tracker as needed. https://t.co/UXzxrUnGYo
– Heather Trela ââ(@HeatherTrela) December 31, 2021
Municipalities that do not take the initiative to ban businesses on at least a temporary basis will opt by default for an indefinite period.
To this end, it’s important to note that the denial numbers do not necessarily reflect a local government’s position on the legalization of marijuana as a whole. As in New Jersey, where a majority of cities initially chose not to allow retailers following the implementation of the reform, some New York municipalities simply decided to opt out before the deadline in order to to have more time to prepare and manufacture local products. rules.
âThe big takeaway for me is how often the lack of state guidance has been cited by municipalities that have chosen to opt out,â said Heather Trela, who has been monitoring local cannabis decisions. for the Rockefeller Institute, at Marijuana Moment. “Which potentially leaves the door open for some to register in the future.”
“We will continue to follow up directly with municipalities to hopefully get more information, especially towns and villages that do not have a website,” she said.
It’s also true that while dispensaries and social consumption sites may be banned locally in New York City, other types of commercial cannabis licenses are exempt from the opt-out option, including growers and delivery services.
Because the implementation process to allow retailers has been extended, a GOP senator said he wanted to give local jurisdictions another year to decide whether they would refuse to allow marijuana companies to operate in their area. – a proposal which, according to defenders, was unnecessary and would create undue complications for the industry. He did not advance in the legislature.
As the state prepares to launch the first retail marijuana stores, the law signed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) already allows adults 21 and over to possess and consume cannabis in public . And other lawmakers are working to build on the policy of legalization.
For example, a senator from New York introduced a bill last month to ensure that gays, lesbians and bisexuals can claim social fairness under the state’s marijuana law.
Senator Jeremy Cooney (D) introduced the bill, shortly after tabling a separate bill to include transgender and non-binary people in the cannabis social equity agenda. He is also behind other recent marijuana reform proposals related to tax benefits and licensing for cannabis businesses.
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In July, Cooney introduced legislation to create an interim license class for marijuana so that farmers can begin growing and selling cannabis before the official rollout of the adult program.
Cooney is also sponsoring a newly introduced bill to allow licensed cannabis companies to deduct certain business expenses from their state tax returns.
Gov. Kathy Hochul (R), who replaced Cuomo after his resignation amid a sexual harassment scandal, has repeatedly stressed his interest in effective implementation of the legalization law.
In a recent event, she touted that she quickly made regulatory appointments that were delayed under her predecessor. “I believe there are thousands and thousands of jobs” that could be created in the new industry, the governor said.
Meanwhile, the New York City Cannabis Control Board (CCB) held its first meeting in October, a key step towards the implementation of the state’s adult-use marijuana program.
The board members, who were appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, announced that medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to sell flower-based cannabis products to qualified patients. The $ 50 registration fee for patients and caregivers has also been permanently removed.
In November, regulators also approved rules for the state’s cannabinoid hemp program, including clarifying that the culture’s flowers can be sold, but delta-8 THC products are currently banned from commercialization.
The state comptroller recently predicted that New York would eventually generate $ 245 million in annual marijuana-related revenue, which he said will help offset losses from declining tobacco sales.
For the first year of cannabis sales, the state is expected to collect just $ 20 million in taxes and fees. That will be part of the roughly $ 26.7 billion in new revenue New York is expected to generate in fiscal year 2021-22 under a budget the legislature passed in April.
The state Department of Labor separately announced in a recent directive that New York employers are no longer allowed to test marijuana on most workers.
Meanwhile, a New York lawmaker introduced a bill in June that would require the state to create an institute to research the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
Another state lawmaker tabled legislation last month to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for medical purposes and establish facilities where the psychedelic could be grown and administered to patients.
Indiana Marijuana Legalization and Regulatory Bills pre-filed for the 2022 session
Photo courtesy of WeedPornDaily.