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A09283 Summary:

BILL NOA09283
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08084-A
 
SPONSORPeoples-Stokes
 
COSPNSRLupardo, Gottfried, Bronson, Walker, Woerner
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §520, Ag & Mkts L; add §§68-c & 69-a, amd §69, Cannabis L
 
Provides a conditional adult-use cultivator license to process and distribute cannabis flower products without holding an adult-use processor or distributor license; provides a conditional adult-use processor license to process and distribute cannabis products; provides for the repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof.
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A09283 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A9283
 
SPONSOR: Peoples-Stokes
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law and the cannabis law, in relation to providing a conditional adult-use cultivator license and a conditional adult-use processor license; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to establish a temporary conditional adult- use cultivator license and a temporary conditional adult-use processor license in order to establish the adult-use cannabis market in a timely manner, and to bolster the social equity program required by the Canna- bis Law.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 would require the Department of Agriculture and Markets to share data and documentation related to the agricultural research pilot program with the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). Section 2 would add a new section 68-c to the Cannabis Law to establish a conditional adult-use cultivator license. This conditional license would permit licensees to temporarily cultivate adult-use cannabis outdoors, or in a greenhouse with up to twenty artificial lights unless otherwise authorized by OCM. The license caps the amount of cannabis that may be grown based on the square footage of the flowering canopy, and is valid until June 30th 2024. Eligible applicants would need to have possessed a valid industrial hemp grower authorization from the Department of Agriculture and Markets as of December 31, 2021, be in good standing, and have grown and harvested hemp for at least two of the last four years. Licensees would be temporarily allowed to minimally process and distribute cannabis products without needing a separate processor or distributor license, provided that such products are in the form of cannabis flower, until June 1, 2023, at which point any condi- tional adult-use cultivator seeking to process and distribute cannabis products shall be required to apply for and receive a processor and/or distributor license to continue to conduct this activity. Conditional cannabis cultivation would only be permitted within the same or an adja- cent county in which the conditional adult-use cultivator licensee had previously been authorized by the Department of Agriculture and Markets to grow hemp. Section 3 would provide conforming changes to section 69 of the Cannabis Law. Section 4 would add a new section 69-a to the Cannabis Law to establish a conditional adult-use processor license that would permit licensees to temporarily manufacture or process cannabis products, which would be valid until June 30th 2024. Eligible applicants would need to have applied for a cannabinoid hemp processor license as of December 31, 2021, and hold such license when applying. Licensees would only be allowed to produce extracts if already permitted to do so under their existing hemp processor license. The conditional processing of cannabis would only be permitted at the same location in which the conditional adult-use processor licensee is authorized to process hemp, unless expressly authorized by OCM. Conditional processor licensees would have the authority to distribute cannabis products without holding an adult- use distributor until June 1, 2023, at which point any conditional processor seeking to distribute cannabis products would be required to apply for and receive a distributor license. Section 5 would require the Cannabis Control Board to issue a report on various aspects of the conditional cultivator and processor licenses by January 1, 2023, and again on January 1, 2024. Section 6 provides for an immediate effective date, and repeals the conditional licenses on June 30, 2024. Additionally, this bill provides that both conditional cultivator and processor licensees would both be required to participate in an environ- mental sustainability program and a social equity mentorship program. Such mentorship program would be designed to train individuals inter- ested in becoming licensed cultivators or processors and would leverage remote and in-person mentees with experience in agriculture business management, sustainable cannabis cultivation, and best practices. Candi- dates for the mentorship program would be individuals that would be considered social equity applicants as defined by the Cannabis Law, are at least eighteen years of age, and NYS residents. Further, the condi- tional license terms and conditions would require that the licensee enter into a labor peace agreement with a bona-fide labor organization that is actively engaged in representing or attempting to represent the applicant's employees within six months of licensure, and the mainte- nance of such labor peace agreement would be an ongoing material condi- tion of licensure. This bill also provides that conditional cultivation and processor licensees in good standing would have the opportunity to apply for full licenses prior to the expiration of their conditional licenses under terms outlined in the bill, and as approved by OCM. This bill also establishes parameters and procedures for the surrender of conditional cultivator and processor licenses due to various failures of the licensee. Under this bill, conditional cultivator and processor licenses would not be issued by OCM after December 31, 2022, and such licenses would be rendered invalid after June 30, 2024.   JUSTIFICATION: This bill is necessary to allow for a timely establishment of the adult-use cannabis market by allowing for the temporary conditional cultivation and processing of adult-use cannabis as soon as is feasible. This bill will be particularly helpful in providing social equity retail dispensary licensees with products on day-one of retail sales. Addi- tionally, this bill will facilitate interested social equity cultivators and processors with a pathway to licensure through invaluable experience and knowledge gained by partnering with current experienced hemp culti- vators and processors through a social equity mentorship program. This bill will ultimately strengthen the social equity program, and assist in achieving the goal that fifty percent of all licenses be awarded to social equity applicants. In addition to the social equity mentorship program, this bill establishes appropriate guidelines and restrictions on the scope of the conditional licenses, including requiring that conditional licensees interested in full licenses be in good standing, meet all licensure requirements, and separately apply for full licenses. Additionally, this bill will require the cultivation and processing of adult-use cannabis to be done in an environmentally responsible manner, and provides appropriate oversight by the OCM and the Cannabis Control Board.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately, provided however, that the provisions of sections two and four of this act shall expire on June 30, 2024 when upon such date the provisions of such sections shall be deemed repealed.
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