New York Cease and Desist Letters Regarding Gifting or Bartering  to Disguise Cannabis Sales

New York Cease and Desist Letters Regarding Gifting or Bartering  to Disguise Cannabis Sales
CANNANNEW REPORT

NEW YORK – July 8, 2022 – The Office of Cannabis Management (“OCM”) recently issued “Cease and Desist” letters to 52 businesses that have been allegedly engaged in “gifting” or “bartering” schemes to disguise illegal cannabis sales. The letters warn those operators that such illegal sales may result in being permanently barred from obtaining a cannabis license in New York. OCM reasoned that such action was necessary to prevent undermining of the (yet to be established) legal cannabis market as well preserving public health by preventing distribution of untested and unregulated cannabis. What constitutes “selling” as compared to “gifting” cannabis, is not well defined by New York’s statute. Under the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”), right now it is lawful to possess and “gift” up to 3 ounces of cannabis to another person – even if that cannabis has not been tested or otherwise regulated by New York. OCM’s cease and desist letters fail to shed greater clarification on the terms, instead obtusely suggesting that if a gift is given inside a commercial establishment then it is illegal, whereas a gift given immediately outside the shop would not be illegal as long as there has been no exchange of any item of value at the time of the gift. This enigma of the law has caused the proliferation of New York’s “gray market” of shop owners like those 52 recipients who are trying to navigate the law and celebration of cannabis legalization. Our team of highly skilled cannabis attorneys notes that these purported unlawful sales do not present any greater public health threat than the gifting of cannabis between individuals which is specifically allowed under the MRTA. Further, since there is no legal market or licensed vendors, such activities undertaken by the 52 letter recipients and other gray market…

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reposted by Cannabis News World

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