Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the website launch for the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. This website educates the public on the OCM’s regulatory structure which, with the Cannabis Control Board, will oversee the licensure, cultivation, production, distribution, sale and taxation of medical, adult-use and cannabinoid hemp within New York State. The website also provides resources for individuals seeking medical cannabis practitioners, caregivers and medical cannabis IDs as well as businesses seeking licensure to participate in adult-use, medical and cannabinoid hemp industries.
“Legalizing cannabis was the first step in this historic endeavor to right the wrongs of the past,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Office of Cannabis Management’s website provides critical preliminary information pending the creation of the Cannabis Control Board about the future of this industry as well as resources for individuals and businesses seeking information on the future of cannabis in New York State. The website outlines the comprehensive reforms this legislation enacts, and I know will be a valued resource for many as we move forward.”
On March 31, Governor Cuomo signed legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis, fulfilling a key component of his 2021 State of the State agenda. This legislation builds on years of work to understand and decriminalize cannabis for adult use. The bill establishes the Cannabis Control Board and the Office of Cannabis Management to implement a comprehensive regulatory framework that covers medical, adult-use and cannabinoid hemp. The bill also expands New York State’s existing medical cannabis and cannabinoid hemp programs. The legislation provides licensing for marijuana producers, distributors, retailers, and other actors in the cannabis market, and creates a social and economic equity program to assist individuals disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement that want to participate in the industry.
The development of an adult-use cannabis industry in New York State under this legislation has the potential to create significant economic opportunities for New Yorkers and the State. Tax collections from the adult-use cannabis program are projected to reach $350 million annually. Additionally, there is the potential for this new industry to create 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs across the State.
In 2018, the Department of Health, under Governor Cuomo’s direction, conducted a multi-agency study, which concluded that the positive impacts of legalizing adult-use cannabis far outweighed the negatives. It also found that decades of cannabis prohibition have failed to achieve public health and safety goals and have led to unjust arrests and convictions, particularly in communities of color.
In 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to decriminalize the penalties for unlawful possession of marijuana. The legislation also put forth a process to expunge records for certain marijuana convictions. Later that year, the Governor spearheaded a multi-state summit to discuss paths towards legalization of adult-use cannabis that would ensure public health and safety and coordinate programs regionally to minimize the cross-border movement of cannabis products.
The website for the New York State Office of Cannabis Management can be found here.