Cannabis, or marijuana is a controlled substance which is illegal to possess, use, or distribute in New York State. Medical marijuana, however, is legal in New York State although adult recreational use remains prohibited.  Under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana was placed in Schedule I, which defines the substance as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

Jacobowitz and Gubits attorneys are ready to help New York businesses entering the cannabis industry by providing legal direction in the areas of:

  • Government Regulations and Compliance
  • Licensing and Permitting – obtaining licenses and permits
  • New York State Licensing for Cultivation and Dispensaries (forthcoming based on legislation)
  • Business – forming business entities or partnerships, negotiating and drafting contracts of all kinds
  • Labor and Employment
  • Real Estate – land purchasing or leasing
  • Land Use and Zoning – land use approvals
  • Environmental
  • Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program (Hemp Grower Research Partner Applications and Licenses)

Many of our attorneys have received the necessary continuing educational training to provide you with the guidance necessary to follow the federal and state laws governing cannabis law.

New York Legalizes Marijuana (3/31/21)

New York has become the 15th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Gov. Cuomo signed the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act into law today. Immediately, anyone over the age of 21 may legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana. Smoking marijuana is permitted wherever tobacco smoking is allowed, but is not permitted in a car, schools, or workplaces. Legal sales of marijuana are a year away or more. Also on the horizon are retail dispensaries, premises for on-site consumption, home deliveries, and the ability to grow up to six plants at home. A new Office of Cannabis Management is charged with drafting regulations and licenses for cannabis growers, processers, and sellers. The law is very extensive and detailed and we have just begun to analyze it. Whether you are a municipality, employer, entrepreneur, or recreational user, we will have more information for you in the weeks and months ahead.

Click here for the New York Times Article

New York is about to Legalize Marijuana (3/30/21)

As you may have heard, New York State is on the cusp of legalizing marijuana in ways that will impact individuals, businesses, and municipalities. Adults over the age of 21 will be permitted to purchase marijuana for recreational use and also to grow a small number of plants for personal consumption. Businesses will be able to sell marijuana for retail take-away or on-site consumption. Taxes on sales will benefit municipalities, but municipalities will also have the ability to opt out of allowing retail or on-site establishments within their boundaries. Although the law will likely be enacted soon, a year of writing regulations is anticipated before sales begin. We are watching developments closely and will keep you apprised of progress. Stay tuned and please contact us if you have any questions.

Are you looking to become a New York State Cannabinoid Hemp Processor, Retailer or Distributor?   (2/22/21)

On February 22, 2021, Governor Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Health’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program is now accepting license applications from businesses seeking to operate as cannabinoid hemp processors, retailers or distributors.  You can access the application here.  The Cannabinoid Hemp Program (

The Cannabinoid Hemp Retail License is $300 per location and the Distributor permit is also $300 for the application fee.  If you are looking to become an extracting and manufacturer, those fees jump to $1,000 for the application fee and $4,500 for the license fee.

The Cannabinoid Hemp Program is licensing cannabinoid hemp processors, distributors and retailers and setting quality control standards that all cannabinoid hemp products must meet including manufacturing, packaging and labeling and laboratory testing requirements.  The Program will help organize and legitimize the growing cannabinoid hemp industry in New York State while simultaneously protecting consumers from sub-standard and potentially dangerous products.

Any business selling or intending to sell cannabinoid hemp products to consumers in New York State must be licensed as a Cannabinoid Hemp Retailer.  Distributors of cannabinoid hemp products manufactured outside of New York State must obtain a Cannabinoid Hemp Distributor Permit to sell cannabinoid hemp products to Cannabinoid Hemp Retailers in New York.

J&G can assist with land purchasing or leasing; forming business entities or partnerships; obtaining licenses and permits, including land use approvals; negotiating and drafting contracts of all kinds; borrowing, employment, tax, and all other legal issues facing a business.

We are here to help.  Visit us at or call 845-764-9656.

NYSDOH Finally Releases New Hemp Regulation (11/20/2020)

Here is an article written by Marissa Weiss, Esq. on the new proposed legislation  Click here to read this article.

Freshly Baked:  Insight into NY’s New Hemp Laws (2/18/2020)

Here is an article written by Marissa Weiss, Esq. on the new legislation effective March 9, 2020.  Click here to read this article.

Marissa’s article was published in part on Chronogram on 2/15/20.  You can read that version here.

J&G believes we are only seeing the beginning of what will likely become a very substantial industry here in the Hudson Valley.

Contact us if you have any questions about the growing business of industrial hemp.

Delving into the Weeds:  Industrial Hemp Licenses – Grain and Fiber In, CBD on Hold (4/12/19)

If you’re looking to obtain a license to grow industrial hemp, your budding plans may get put on hold.

As of December 2018, New York State Department of Agriculture and Market’s Division of Plant Industry has temporarily paused acceptance of applications to grow and process industrial hemp for cannabiodiol (CBD) oil under its Industrial Hemp Agriculture Pilot Program . The State has vowed to reopen applications for CBD growing and processing licenses in a few months, but what is a potential industrial hemp farmer to do while the smoke clears?

The answer: apply for a license to grow industrial hemp for grain (seed) or fiber (straw) purposes. The State is still accepting applications for such licenses on a first-come, first-served basis. Our Office can help you make the most of the upcoming growing season by assisting with application submission and providing legal guidance throughout the licensing process. And, of course, once CBD oil applications comes back into play, we can help you delve through those regulatory weeds as well.

Marijuana in New York State (4/12/19)

The recreational use of marijuana, as of this writing April 12, 2019, remains illegal.

Medical use, however, has changed. In July 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature enacted the Compassionate Care Act to provide a comprehensive, safe and effective medical marijuana program that meets the needs of New Yorkers. This bill comprehensively regulates the manufacture, sale and use of medical marijuana. It attempts to strike the right balance between potentially relieving the pain and suffering of those in desperate need of a treatment and protecting the public against risks to its health and safety. The balance is maintained by granting discretion to physicians to prescribe in accordance with regulatory requirements and medical norms, empowering the Department of Health to oversee the regimen of medical marijuana usage and leaving to the Governor, the final say in seeing that the public’s safety and health are protected by authorizing him to discontinue the program, in whole or in part, should risks to the public so warrant.

Department of Health

The Department of Health has stated that as of July 10, 2018, there are 62,256 certified patients and 1,735 registered practitioners participating in the program.

On December 8, 2017 The New York State Department of Health announced that it was filing regulations for adoption that will improve the state’s Medical Marijuana Program for patients, practitioners and registered organizations. These regulations, which went into effect on December 27, 2017, allow for the sale of additional medical marijuana products, an improved experience for patients and visitors at dispensing facilities and the ability for the Department to approve new courses that will allow prospective practitioners to complete their training in a shorter amount of time.

Registered Organizations

Under the new regulations, registered organizations (ROs) are allowed to manufacture and distribute additional products including topicals such as ointments, lotions and patches; solid and semi-solid products, including chewable and effervescent tablets and lozenges; and certain non-smokable forms of ground plant material. All products are subject to rigorous testing, and the Department reserves the right to exclude inappropriate products or those which pose a threat to public health.

Other recent enhancements to New York’s Medical Marijuana Program include authorizing five additional registered organizations to manufacture and dispense medical marijuana, adding post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain as qualifying conditions, empowering nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify patients and permitting home delivery.