NYS Cannabis Control Board Meeting Summary 10/21/21

The New York State (“NYS”) Cannabis Control Board (the “Board”) held its second public meeting earlier today, just 16 days after its inaugural meeting on October 5th.  The meeting was livestreamed to the general public with all Board Members (Tremaine Wright (Chair), Jessica Garcia, Jen Metzger, Rueben McDaniel and Adam Perry (attending virtually)), the Executive Director (Chris Alexander) and Chief Equity Officer (Jason Starr) in attendance.

Chairwoman Wright summarized the Board’s work since its last meeting including (1) its ongoing employment efforts (both new hires and the transition of existing NYS Department of Health staff), (2) the Board’s outreach to key NYS stakeholders (including visits to various cultivation and processing facilities), and (3) continued work on the creation of implementing regulations as required by the NYS Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (the “MRTA”).

Executive Director Alexander introduced the key features of newly proposed Medical Cannabis Home Cultivation Regulations.  The Board approved the submission of these draft regulations to the Office of Cannabis Management (the “OCM”) for publication on the OCM website, upon which a four month public review and comment period will commence.  In a nutshell, these new regulations will permit home cultivation (indoor or outdoor) of a limited number of cannabis plants (six in total, with some exceptions) by certified patients and their designated caregivers for personal medical use.  These regulations are not intended to permit home cultivation for adult recreational use.

Executive Director Alexander also presented an update on the Expungement and Criminal Justice efforts undertaken by NYS in accordance with the requirements of the MRTA.  Those efforts, to eradicate criminal records related to marijuana usage, are ongoing and must be completed by March 31, 2023.

Finally, the Executive Director summarized the Municipal Opt-Out Program under which municipalities may opt-out of (prohibit) adult-use dispensaries and/or on-site consumption licenses from operating within their jurisdiction (however, they cannot opt-out out of other license types or adult-use legalization itself).  Local laws “opting-out” must be passed by December 31, 2021.  Municipalities that opt-out may opt-back-in at any time.  Municipalities that opt-out will not receive any revenue from the local excise tax on the sale of adult-use products.

The Board has not yet scheduled its next public meeting but the time and livestream link for that meeting will be posted on the OCM website in advance of the meeting.  Chairwoman Wright suggested the public sign-up to receive updates from the OCM, which will include notices of all future Board meetings.  The sign-up page for the OCM can be found here:  https://cannabis.ny.gov/sign_up_for_updates_from_OCM

Summary drafted by Michael Schwamm, Jerome Levy, Michael Barz and Erensu Altan.

Michael Schwamm to Be Panelist at Arcview Town Hall: Massachusetts

Duane Morris partner Michael Schwamm will be a panelist at Arcview’s virtual event, Town Hall: Massachusetts, on October 14, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET.

Massachusetts’ cannabis industry has surpassed $2B in sales, has issued 900+ licenses, and employed more than 16K people in less than three years. Find out what’s behind Massachusetts’s success and what comes next for the commonwealth’s cannabis industry.

For more information, please visit the event website.

Duane Morris Cannabis Industry Group Ranked in The Legal 500

Duane Morris’ Cannabis Industry Group has been ranked in The Legal 500 US 2021 guide.

An excerpt from the publication:

Acting for central and ancillary cannabis industry clients, Duane Morris LLP stands out for its broad practice in the area, with regular activity in matters ranging from financings, M&A and joint ventures, to litigation, tax and regulatory issues. Publicly-traded companies, private funds, family offices and high-net worth individuals are among the team’s core clients.

Seth A. Goldberg is named a “Leading Lawyer” in the area.

Additional Key Attorneys Named: Nanette C. HeideMichael D. Schwamm; David E. Landau

Testimonials

        • “My key contact is Michael Schwamm. His team is excellent and very knowledgeable regarding cannabis matters.”
        • “Michael Schwamm is a leader in the group and provides excellent and prompt advice.”

For more information, please visit the firm website.

Is Chapter 15 Available to a Cannabis MSO? In the Face of Uncertainty, Tread Lightly

Duane Morris partner Jarret P. Hitchings authored the INSOL World journal article, “Is Chapter 15 Available to a Cannabis MSO? In the Face of Uncertainty, Tread Lightly.”

On 31 March 2021, the State of New York legalized the use, possession, and growth of cannabis by adults. Within the United States, cannabis is now legal in 16 states including Washington D.C., with legalization taking effect in two more states, Virginia and New Mexico, later this year. This state-level trend toward legalization in the United States continues even though cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. However, in Canada, cannabis has been legal at both the federal and provincial levels since 2018.

To read the full article, please visit the Duane Morris website.

Pennsylvania’s Cannabis Market: What Investors And Entrepreneurs Need To Know

Duane Morris partner Seth Goldberg was quoted in an article on Benzinga:

Seth Goldberg, a partner and team leader at Philadelphia-based law firm Duane Morris‘ cannabis department, said PA’s program has remained stable during its three years of operation. He added that the state’s marijuana department has “worked out the administrative program kinks” to create a smooth-running program.

Goldberg highlighted achievements, including over 400,000 registered MMJ patients and soaring tax revenue, both of which help boost public support for the program.</blockquote?

To read the full text of the article, please visit the Benzinga website.

Cannabis Talks with Arcview Group

On June 8, Duane Morris partners Michael Schwamm and Tracy Gallegos joined The Arcview Group as part of its monthly Cannabis Talks Instagram Live Series. Join Michael and Tracy  on the second Tuesday of every month at 2:30 p.m. Pacific/5:30 p.m. Eastern for a discussion on cannabis industry issues.

To view replays, visit Duane Morris’ Instagram or website.

Duane Morris Cannabis Industry Group and Attorneys Recognized

Duane Morris’ Cannabis Industry Group is honored to once again be recognized with the elite law firms and attorneys in the cannabis industry.

Cannabis Industry Group and Attorneys Nationally Recognized by Chambers USA

Chambers 2021 logoDuane Morris’ Cannabis Industry Group and team leads Seth Goldberg and Tracy Gallegos received national rankings in the Cannabis Law –
Nationwide area.

Chambers Review
What the team is known for: Utilizes cannabis expertise on a nationwide basis and across a broad spectrum of practice areas, with practitioners specializing in IP, corporate transactions and regulatory advice within the sector. Offers expanded capabilities in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill for clients trading in hemp and hemp-derived CBD products. Also boasts litigators able to handle contentious issues for producers and distributors across the industry.

Strengths: Clients describe Duane Morris as “a very well-regarded and respected firm in this space.” One client acknowledges its “deep bench with a lot of talent and experience in the cannabis industry.” Another adds: “The team as a whole is exceptionally knowledgeable. Its strengths include responsiveness and the ability to collaborate.”

Work highlights: Represented Glass House Group in its acquisition of Los Angeles-based cannabis concentrates manufacturer F/ELD Taste Matters.

Notable practitioners: Seth Goldberg boasts high-level experience advising cannabis businesses throughout their life cycle. “He’s a top-notch lawyer who really knows his stuff.” “He’s consistently responsive and knowledgeable.

Tracy Gallegos has extensive experience in the cannabis sector. Her practice covers regulatory issues, including licensing, in addition to corporate structuring and transactions.

Seth Goldberg Named a Law Firm Innovator by The Legal Intelligencer

Seth Goldberg, partner and team lead of the Cannabis Industry Group, has been named a Law Firm Innovator in The Legal Intelligencer’s 2021 Professional Excellence Awards. The award honors lawyers “who push the envelope to build their businesses [and] think outside the box and have demonstrated an ability to distinguish their brands in a crowded market.”

Webinar: Big Money Meets Big Government: Greenlighting Mergers as State and Federal Regulators Step Up Scrutiny

Duane Morris is hosting the webinar, “Big Money Meets Big Government: Greenlighting Mergers as State and Federal Regulators Step Up Scrutiny,” on June 15, 2021, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

Join Duane Morris’ Brian Pandya, former Deputy Associate Attorney General, who will discuss the M&A landscape and other regulatory enforcement challenges and opportunities; American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) co-founder Michael Bronstein; and Paul Josephson, former chief counsel to the New Jersey governor and director of the NJ Division of Law and advisor to trade associations and several leading MSOs, for a discussion on how acting and new government personnel affect the policies, landscape and issues related to the big deals that are currently in process.

For more information and to register, visit the event website.