Despite Governor Cuomo’s best efforts, the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York won’t see the light of day any time soon. Democrat leaders argued that Cuomo’s proposal lacked sufficient social justice components and failed to help the communities adversely affected by the war on drugs. The good news though is that the possession of small amounts of the drug will be decriminalized
Here’s everything you should know about the two new bills (and a rule) passed by the legislature, waiting for the Governor’s ink:
S 6579A – New York’s Marijuana Decriminalization Legislation
Senate Bill 6579A will expunge all records of previous minor marijuana offenses. Under the new law, those found in possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana will be fined $50; possession of 1-2 ounces though — which is presently a class B misdemeanor — will attract a fine of up to $200 but won’t be any longer punishable by jail time.
S 6579A also states that the expunged low-level marijuana convictions cannot “operate as a disqualification of a person to pursue or engage in any lawful activity, profession or calling.”
S 6184A – Industrial Hemp and Hemp Extract Regulations
Senate Bill 6184A is aimed at regulating New York’s Hemp program. Notably, the bill will amend the Agricultural and Markets law, creating new licensing requirements and putting a new regulatory framework for consumable CBD items.
Furthermore, the legislation would modify the definition of industrial hemp to include “all derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids” from the cannabis plant. The bill also will create 3 new license categories for cannabinoid-related hemp extracts, viz:
1) Cannabinoid growers
2) Cannabinoid manufacturers
3) Cannabinoid extractors
However, the Governor is unsure whether he will sign this bill into law.
Ban on CBD in Food and Drink from July 1, 2019
Although the rule was announced earlier this year, it went into force only recently. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOH) has ordered all stores to discard or return such products to the suppliers.
Beginning October 1, 2019, the NYCDOH will start issuing violations to food services establishments and retailers for providing food or drink containing CBD.