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Cannabis is Legal in NY… Now What?

Is Cannabis Weed Marijuana legal in NY Brooklyn Queens Bronx?

New York becomes the 15th state to legalize Cannabis with the NEW Cannabis Legalization Bill – the 2021 MRTA

Across the country, individuals who are Black are nearly four times more likely than individuals who are White to be arrested for marijuana possession, “despite data showing equal use among races”. Growing up in NYC, there is no doubt Cannabis prohibition has resulted in disproportionate criminalization of POC people. Finally, the department of health for NY published an impact report that further elaborates the impact Cannabis has had on race.

In a recent zoom conference by Cornell University and the NY Department of Agricultural, they tried to breakdown the upcoming rules/laws regarding Hemp and now Cannabis. Feel free to watch the videos for yourself in the here, but to save you time, here are the top three things I took away were:

  • They (the government) is still trying to figure out how to control Mother Nature. THC is a compound found in variations in the Cannabis plant. Delta 9 is the compound that is currently being regulated to say if a plant is illegal or not. But now, they recently “discovered” 30+ more THC compounds that will regulated the legality
  • NYC District Attorney offices will stop prosecuting low level offenses and automatically expunged  “some” charges but you still have to pay any of the guilty fines. Find more info here.
  • The newly and still being created OCM (Office of Cannabis Managment) needs its own sitcom on Comedy Central, not kidding.

The ink is yet to be dry on “rules” that are yet to be written. As of 2Q21 in NY You Can:

  • Smoke, Vape, Eat Cannabis if you are over 21
  • Legally smoke in places that tobacco smoke is allowed, for example side walks, streets, roofs, parked cars
  • Carry up to 3 oz. of flower

But you Can Not:

  • Smoke and Drive
  • Smoke in Public Housing areas
  • Grow the Cannabis plant until 18 months after recreational adult use is in place at dispensaries

How about Medical MJ?

The good news is you can now receive a Medical MJ card for anxiety and insomnia and the even better news is that flower will be available by the summer.

How about Businesses?

For business in NY you can not Sell or Buy Hemp or Cannabis unless you have any of at the following licenses that will be in effect in 2023:

  • Processor
  • Manufacturer
  • Retail

By 2022, this will directly affect retail stores from boutiques to gas stations as well as current Hemp growers and Hemp product makers. Nevertheless, The Office of Cannabis management, who say they have a commitment to social justice, are promising:

  • 50% of licenses to Women and POC businesses
  • Taxes collected from the sale of Cannabis to be redirected toward schools, drug treatment initiatives, and community organizations in areas adversely affected by drug enforcement.

In Conclusion

The conclusion is that there still is no conclusion. The rules are still being written, changing and reinterperted … more to come. But the following video sums up my emotions:

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