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NY Marijuana Business Law - Recreational

Presently, under both Federal and New York State Law, the sale and use of Marijuana for recreational purposes is prohibited. However, in recent years states such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and California have legalized the recreational sale of marijuana.

New York's neighbors are gearing up for the sale of recreational marijuana, The Cannabis Act, passed by the Canadian Senate on June 21, controls and regulates the growth, distribution and sale of recreational marijuana in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expects everything to be in place for consumption to begin on October 17, 2018.

Massachusetts voted nearly 2 years ago to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana.  With 15 provisional retail licenses already issued, it's a “distinct possibility” that the government will issue final approval for the first adult-use dispensary at the agency's next meeting in October, 2018 And when it does open, it's expected to be a frenzy.

State lawmakers have finally written the latest bill that would legalize marijuana and lay the foundation for a commercial weed industry in New Jersey — a bill they believe has a real chance to pass. It calls for what could be the lowest marijuana taxes in the nation, weed delivery and places for users to smoke outside of their homes, among other provisions.

Governor Cuomo has long been a skeptic of legalized marijuana. However, Cuomo said New York would no longer have the option of trying to simply prevent the flow of the drug into the state now that its neighbors in Massachusetts and New Jersey are moving forward with plans to legalize the drug/ . The governor's comments followed the release of the Health Department's findings, a 75-page report that weighed arguments for and against legalization, and concluded that the state should have a regulated market. 

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he is convening a task force to prepare for the eventuality that the state decides to legalize marijuana, with a report expected by the end of the year.

What you can do now to prepare for potential legalization of recreational marijuana in New York

  • Attend a Medical Marijuana listening tour. event. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that members of his working group, which is tasked with crafting legislation creating a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana, will meet 15 times to get local input on their task
  • Read through NY medical marijuana  regulations and determine what business type you'd like to have.
  • If you'll be seeking financing and investors or partners, you'll need a business plan to present to them. Ask me about Marijuana Business plans for details and get a business plan to fit your needs.
  • You will need to set up a corporate structure for your business
  • Determine your potential location(s) and investigate whether licensing is possible in the prospective cities or counties.
  • When the time comes, you will need to review your lease to ascertain whether your business will be permitted.

If you have any questions about planning to open a marijuana business in New York, feel free to call me at 212-233-0666.


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When you're ready to take the next step you can begin the process online. If you'd like to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation in my office you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 212-233-0666.