Marijuana Business Magazine - March 2018

MARKET AT A GLANCE Main measure House Bill 6357 Year passed 2014 Cannabis business regulations Very heavy. The state allows just 10 licensed, vertically integrated businesses. The rules for these companies are onerous. In addition to some of the highest licensing fees in the coun- try and a detailed application process, operational regulations established extensive rules for everything from testing, security and inventory tracking to recordkeeping, packaging/ labeling and advertising. New York also limits the types of strains that can be grown. New York’s MMJ program commissioner, not the businesses, sets prices. A registered pharmacist is required to be on the dispensary premises during all hours of operation. State tax requirements 7% excise tax for producers/dispensaries on the gross receipts from sales to patients Sampling of state licensing & application fees Application: Producer/Dispensary – $210,000 ($200,000 of which is refundable if entity not awarded a license, new and renewal) License: Producer/Dispensary – $200,000 (submitted with application; check cashed if selected. New and renewal. Licenses are valid for two years.) What to watch • Four of the five existing MMJ businesses in New York sued the state’s health department to stop it from licensing additional companies to participate in the MMJ program. The lawsuit was dismissed in late 2017, but the four plaintiffs are considering their next moves. • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing state lawmakers to approve funding that would establish a commission to study the feasibility of legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. Two states bordering New York – Massachusetts and Vermont – have already passed some form of adult-use legalization, and many expect New Jersey to pass a recreational measure this year. New York New York’s medical marijuana program posted a banner year in 2017. The number of medical cannabis patients grew from just under 12,000 at the start of the year to over 40,000 by the end of December – a 254% increase driven largely by the addition of chronic pain as a quali- fying MMJ condition. However, a decision by the New York State Depart- ment of Health to award five new MMJ business licenses has proved controversial. Advocates argue the new licensees will drive down prices and promote even more patient growth. By contrast, existing business owners contend that five more companies could be ruinous for New York’s MMJ industry, which is not known for being particularly lucrative. March 2018 • Marijuana Business Magazine • 117