During the Cannabis Control Board’s meeting on Thursday, the board approved by a vote of 5-0 new regulations for the state’s medical cannabis program, in accordance with the Marijuana Regulation Taxation Act (“MRTA”). Among other things, the new regulations transfer the program from the New York Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management (“OCM”). The OCM highlighted some additional key changes effectuated by the new regulations, including:
- Flexibility to provide remote supervision for dispensing facilities;
- The removal of certain restrictions on naming conventions for products, allowing the items to include names of various cannabis strains;
- Changing constant video surveillance requirement to allow for motion-activated recording after business hours; and
- Further prohibitions on packaging and labeling that advertise to kids.
At the meeting, board members praised the environmental aspects of the new regulations, such as allowing registered organizations to accept packaging for reuse to support recycling programs. The new rules are subject to a 60-day public comment period.
Board member Reuben McDaniel III also briefly discussed next steps with respect to Governor Hochul’s recent pledge to commit $200 million in public and private funds to support social equity applicants as they build their adult-use cannabis enterprises. McDaniel said the OCM is convening with the state legislature and other stakeholders to get their input into the fund.
Additionally, at the conclusion of the public meeting, board members voted to privately discuss pending and proposed litigation matters. The board did not specify what the private discussion was about, but it may have been in connection with the legal dispute between MedMen and Ascend Wellness Holdings over a stalled investment transaction. Last week, a state judge authorized subpoenas last week requiring Hochul, the OCM and the Cannabis Control Board to produce documents connected to the dispute.