Spring 2021 Recreational Marijuana Approval: NY Senate Bill S854A

New York legislators have debated legalization for the past several years, but disagreements over tax revenue allocations – and the COVID-19 pandemic – stalled the passage of legislation. New York’s Assembly and Senate passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) on March 30, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it the next day.

The Act became effective April 9, and while it immediately took all of the state’s marijuana-related criminal offenses off the books (other than driving under the influence), residents will have to wait until sometime in 2022 to purchase marijuana for recreational use from New York dispensaries. The New York Office of Cannabis Management oversees the state’s programs.

Residents 21 and older can possess three ounces of marijuana and 24 grams of concentrates and store up to five ounces of flower at home.

Medical Marijuana in New York Previously Limited to Edibles and Similar Products

The MRTA also revised New York medical marijuana rules, allowing dispensaries to sell flowers for smoking. Those establishments have been restricted to selling non-smokable forms, including edibles, vape cartridges, capsules, and oils, since they began operating in January 2016. Under the MRTA, new medical marijuana standards are supposed to be in effect by the end of 2021; recreational-use standards are targeted for the end of 2022.

Edibles: A Popular Choice for Medical and Recreational Cannabis

In the meantime, New York state residents who are approved for medical use will be limited to edible marijuana products and other non-smokable forms. According to a report on the types of cannabis edibles released by Zion Market Research in early 2021, sales of edible marijuana products for medical and recreational use have been increasing as more states legalize their use. The research firm reports the “growing acceptance of cannabis is the key factor likely to drive the cannabis edibles market globally in the future.”

According to a summary of the report, the global edibles market was $2.38 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $11.56 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 25.4%.

Smoking marijuana will be restricted to areas approved by New York state law, although local laws can be more restrictive. For example, the New York City Smoke-Free Air Act, which went into effect December 30, 2002, prohibits smoking in places of employment and many public areas. In addition, the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act, amended in July 2003, bans smoking in workplaces, bars, and restaurants.

Edibles are a popular option as an alternative to smoking and vaping. The effects of the drug can be longer-lasting and more intense when ingested via edible marijuana products.

ImEPIK’s Market-Leading Food Safety Training Delivers Key Information to Producers of Edibles

Although cannabis edibles in the US are not yet federally regulated, New York and other states have rules for testing medical and recreational cannabis. Those rules vary from state to state.

New York regulations for medical marijuana, established in 2019, call for state-approved labs to test for various pathogens and adulterants, including E. coli and salmonella.

ImEPIK’s Cannabis Edibles Safety Course© uses proven best practices for edibles producers and delivers training through an exclusively online learning platform. Your team will receive interactive training explicitly developed for cannabis-infused edibles. Our courses are self-paced, 100% online, and include real-life scenarios backed by a comprehensive online resource manual.

Contact us at 866-318-9855 or use our web chat to learn more about our multi-level cannabis safety course and how it can help you provide the safest cannabis edibles.