KINGSTON, N.Y. — You may have it. You may smoke it. However till the Hashish Management Board fleshes out the construction of the state’s new hashish legislation, will probably be a while earlier than people over the age of 21 will have the ability to legally buy marijuana in New York state.
The brand new legislation permits people to own as much as 3 ounces of marijuana (though, once more, it’s nonetheless unlawful to purchase or promote hashish in New York, and federal legal guidelines prohibit it from being introduced throughout state traces). It may be smoked or vaped anyplace tobacco is allowed, with some exceptions. For instance, smoking is banned within the automobile even when it’s parked in addition to anyplace the place alcohol is served, mentioned Jennifer Metzger, a former state senator from Rosendale who’s a member of the Hashish Management Board.
Whereas the legislation could at the moment appear to be an enigma, Metzger mentioned there actually is a logic behind it.
“It takes time to arrange the entire regulatory framework and it takes time to create new companies as effectively,” she mentioned.
Work in creating that framework was stymied by a six-month delay within the creation of the board, due largely to the sexual harassment scandal that enveloped former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and in the end led to his resignation.
Gov. Kathy Hochul appointed the ultimate two members to the five-member panel in late September, clearing the way in which for the board to start its work.
Since October, the board has been working to develop the rules that may govern the brand new trade, together with issuing purposes and licenses to hashish companies and approving the principles and rules that may govern the brand new trade.
The physique has already made some headway, significantly round rules governing medical marijuana — though it’s not out there but, the board has added smokeable marijuana to the accepted medical marijuana listing and it expanded the suppliers who can prescribe it — and to the cannabinoid hemp program (CBD), permitting it in meals and drinks as much as sure thresholds.
Now, Metzger mentioned, the board is popping its consideration to the grownup leisure use program.
Initially, the board had anticipated to roll out the adult-use leisure program inside 18 months of the legislation’s passage in March; whereas that timeframe appears a bit of extra daunting as a result of late begin, Metzger mentioned commissioners imagine it could nonetheless be in attain.
“We try to make up for misplaced time,” she mentioned. ” We hope to beat the 18-month deadline. We hope to have the ability to get the regulator framework in locations earlier than then, however we are able to’t promise.”
Metzger mentioned the brand new legislation permits for 9 several types of licenses to be issued. The board, she mentioned, should outline what these licenses are and the factors one should meet to obtain a selected license. The board should additionally set up the factors for these making use of for licenses below the legislation’s social and financial fairness provisions. Below the legislation, 50 % of the licenses have to be awarded to social and financial fairness candidates. And it should additionally set up rules for on-site consumption of marijuana in addition to the rules governing promoting and advertising and marketing. As well as, it should develop rules for dwelling cultivation, which shall be permitted to happen 18 months after the primary dispensary opens, in addition to for the cultivation, distribution, processing and supply of the merchandise.
“There’s plenty of meat to be placed on the bones of the legislation,” she mentioned.
On the identical time, Metzger added, the Hashish Management Board is within the strategy of staffing the brand new Workplace of Hashish Administration. That workplace, she mentioned, can have upwards of 140 workers, together with inspectors, compliance officers and workers charged with reviewing purposes.
The board not too long ago appointed Chris Alexander as head of the Workplace of Hashish Administration and named Jason Starr as its chief fairness officer.
A 13-member advisory board that may advise the Hashish Management Board should additionally nonetheless be appointed, she mentioned.
All through every step of the method, in line with Metzger, the board will search public enter earlier than adopting the ultimate rules. The general public remark interval on homegrown cultivation for medical marijuana ends on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
To be taught extra about New York state’s hashish legal guidelines or to observe the workings of the Hashish Management Board go to www.cannabis.ny.gov.