Overview of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA)
This program does not carry MCLE credit. It is intended for informational purposes only.
On March 31, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill passed by the legislature to legalize recreational marijuana in New York state. During this program, a panel of Legislators and Public Officials will discuss the recently enacted Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) that legalizes for adult-use cannabis.
The MRTA creates a new framework to regulate the production and sale of cannabis, creates a new adult-use cannabis program and expands the existing medical cannabis and cannabinoid (CBD) hemp programs. During this program you will:
- Learn about the new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), within the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control and its powers, including the establishment of cultivation and processing standards, caps, and limitations and the licensure of all business entities in the production and distribution process. The OCM will determine the types of products allowed in each program, advertising and marketing rules, product labeling rules, the number of licenses, the process for licensure, and the implementation of a social equity program.
- Learn about license categories that include cultivation, processing, distribution, retail dispensaries, consumption sites and delivery. Learn about a cooperative license category that would authorize groups of individuals to cultivate and process cannabis products, and a nursery license to allow for immature plants to be grown and sold to other licensees. A microbusiness license would allow the holder to cultivate, produce, and retail their own cannabis products, but will be limited in size.
- Learn about the social equity components and the goal of 50% of licenses being issued to social equity applicants in the adult-use program. Such applicants will include those from communities impacted by cannabis prohibition; minority- and women-owned businesses; distressed farmers; or service-disabled veterans.
- Learn about local opt outs. The MRTA provides cities, towns, and villages with an option to opt out from having adult-use dispensaries and/or adult-use social consumption sites located in their communities and will require the appropriate governing body to pass a local law in order to opt out.
- Learn about the new Cannabis Revenue Fund and the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund where the money in this fund will be used for grants for qualified community-based organizations and approved local government entities to reinvest in communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies.
- Learn about oversight of the existing medical cannabis and hemp CBD programs and its transition to the OCM and how existing regulations are affected.
Lynelle K. Bosworth, Esq., Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Axel Bernabe, Esq., State of NY Executive Chamber
Senator Jeremy A. Cooney, New York State Senate, 56th District
Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, New York State Assembly District 141
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- April 12, 2021
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