After speedily working its way through the New York State Legislature, the most recent version of the Chapter Amendment to Bill A7680-A / S6184-A, or what is colloquially referred to as the “hemp law”, was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on January 23, 2020. The signed legislation mirrors the chapter amendment detailed in a recent legal alert on hemp regulation in New York state.

As expected, the signed legislation addresses several important areas including:
• Licensure requirements, including licenses related to the manufacture and distribution of cannabinoid for human consumption or use on or in connection with the human body
• Labeling standards that may not be consistent with other Federal or State laws
• Sales in New York state
• The New York State Industrial Hemp and Hemp Extract Workgroup

One of the most notable provisions of the hemp law requires all retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers selling cannabinoid hemp “in final form to consumers” in New York state to apply for one or several licenses with the New York Department of Public Health. This provision includes products containing the most popular hemp extract, cannabidiol or “CBD,” requiring both small boutiques and national retailers across the state to obtain a permit in order to sell CBD products.

Both the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture and Markets are charged with drafting regulations governing the permitting process and scope of products covered by this requirement as well as the labeling and advertising thereof. The breadth of these sections and others in the hemp law will largely depend on the content of those regulations.

Although it is not yet determined when these regulations will be rolled out, the first implementation deadline goes into effect on March 8, 2020. On that date, the bill’s general definitions, prohibitions and penalties take effect. Other sections of the bill, like criteria for retail and processor licenses, take effect on May 1, 2020, while the law’s prohibition against retailing and processing hemp for human consumption without a license does not take effect until January 1, 2021.

This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York State, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Melville, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale and White Plains, as well as New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.