Yes. Cannabis cultivation is legal in Kings County pursuant to the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), signed into law on March 31, 2021. Adults in Kings County aged 21 or older may grow up to 3 mature cannabis plants and 3 immature cannabis plants to make a total of 6 plants. A total of 6 mature plants and 6 immature plants may be grown per household even if there are two or more adults, aged 21 or older, living in the residence.
The New York MRTA requires that cannabis cultivated at home be kept in a safe and secured area not accessible to persons under the age of 21. Also, home-cultivated cannabis may neither be sold to anyone nor intended for other purposes besides personal use. The MRTA prohibits the production or manufacture of hash oil or concentrates using butane, propane, or alcohol with homegrown cannabis. Under the MRTA, local jurisdictions in Kings County may also enact and enforce regulations relating to cultivating cannabis at home. However, such jurisdictions may not completely prohibit the home cultivation of cannabis. Hence, you should research any additional applicable rules pertaining to the home cultivation of cannabis in your locality before commencing the cultivation of cannabis at home.
The MRTA also allows licensed entities to cultivate cannabis for commercial purposes. Marijuana establishments cultivating cannabis for adult-use purposes must obtain the adult-use cultivator license, while registered organizations may also cultivate cannabis in Kings County.
Note that the home cultivation of cannabis plants cannot begin immediately. Kings County residents may not commence the cultivation of cannabis under the MRTA until the Office of Cannabis Management develops rules governing the home cultivation of cannabis. The rules will be published no later than 18 months after the first retail sale of cannabis for adult use.
Yes. Registered organizations and licensed cannabis processors are permitted to process cannabis in Kings County. Cannabis processes in New York include the extraction, preparation, treatment, modification, compounding, manufacturing, or otherwise manipulating cannabis into concentrate or extracting its cannabinoids into an intermediate or final form for human consumption.
Per the MRTA, registered organizations manufacturing medical cannabis must conduct manufacturing activities in secure facilities located in New York State. The facility may be a greenhouse, and manufacturing must be conducted in the manner outlined in regulations promulgated by the Cannabis Control Board. Final manufacturing regulations in New York are expected to be promulgated by the Office of Cannabis Management. The Office will establish requirements and restrictions for the manufacturing and processing of cannabis.
Yes. Kings County permits cannabis retail in accordance with the New York Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. However, the MRTA restricts the location of retail dispensaries near schools or religious institutions. Specifically, a cannabis retail business in Kings County may not be located within 200 feet of a religious institution or 500 feet of a school. Cannabis retail stores are also not permitted to sell alcoholic beverages. Additional restrictions are placed on cannabis marketing materials and advertisements. Such contents are prohibited within 500 feet of the perimeter of playgrounds, child daycare providers, school grounds, public parks, and libraries, in public transit vehicles or stations, and on publicly owned lands or billboards.
Cannabis delivery is legal in Kings County. Pursuant to the MRTA, cannabis delivery refers to the direct delivery of a cannabis product by a cannabis retail licensee, microbusiness licensee, or delivery licensee to a cannabis consumer. Note that cannabis delivery services dispensing medical cannabis to certified patients or qualified caregivers may not dispense an amount greater than a 60-day supply until the patient has exhausted all but a 7-day supply provided pursuant to a previously issued certification.
The delivery service must verify the age of the individual making an order and ensure that the order is delivered to the appropriate person who is not visibly intoxicated. The MRTA also requires that prior to the delivery or sale of cannabis and cannabis products, products must be labeled according to the appropriate regulations and placed in resealable, child-resistant packages. Such packages must not be made attractive to or target persons under 21.
The medical marijuana card authorizes the individual named on the card to obtain and use marijuana for medical marijuana purposes. In New York, the medical marijuana card is issued under the New York medical marijuana law. To be eligible to use medical marijuana in Kings County, the individual must be:
The first step in obtaining a New York MMJ card is to schedule an appointment with a medical practitioner who can certify that the individual meets the applicable criteria. The medical practitioner may be a nurse practitioner, physician's assistant, or physician licensed in New York and registered with New York's medical marijuana program. Persons looking for practitioners registered with the state's medical marijuana program may find them in their localities through the New York State Public List of Consenting Medical Cannabis Program Practitioners. The list also contains state-licensed cannabis telemedicine providers not restricted by county locations in providing certifications for persons who need to obtain medical marijuana attestations.
During an appointment with the medical practitioner, the physician will verify that the patient suffers from one of the qualifying medical conditions approved by the state for medical marijuana. These conditions include:
The following associated conditions and complications may also be considered under the New York State Medical Marijuana Program:
Once the medical practitioner approves a patient for medical marijuana, they will complete a certification for the patient and upload it to the Medical Cannabis Data Management System via the my.NY.gov portal for approval. Subsequently, the patient will receive a printed and signed copy of the certification in order to complete the rest of the application online.
To initiate the online application process, the patient will need to create an account on my.NY.gov. The online application form will require that the patient submit their certification. During the application, the applicant will be required to obtain documentation supporting the application, such as proof of residency. Once the application has been approved, the applicant will receive a digital medical cannabis card to print and use for 30 days. The permanent, hard copy MMJ card arrives in the mail and usually takes up to 10 business days.
Although adult-use cannabis is legal in Kings County and the rest of New York State, retail sales are yet to begin. Hence, there are no sales figures or tax revenue generated from adult-use cannabis sales. However, the MRTA has set forth multiple levels of taxation across the marijuana supply chain in New York. Consequently, besides marijuana business licensing fees and licensing renewal fees, the state can generate significant income from excise taxes and sales taxes.
While the cannabis marketplace in New York State has yet to be set up, estimates by the Office of the New York State Governor, as published in an impact assessment report, indicate that the state's legal cannabis program would generate between $3.5 billion and $4.2 billion annually. Fiscal estimates revealed in the report are based on reviews of illegal pot sales in New York, with dealers charging over $250 per ounce for medical-quality cannabis strains and $340 per ounce for high-quality cannabis strains.
The impact assessment report published in 2018 also projected estimated potential tax revenue for a legal marijuana market in New York of over $350 million, as well as the creation of up to 60,000 new jobs. The report predicted the economic growth associated with a legal marijuana market in the state to spread beyond the cannabis sector to related sectors such as financial services, legal services, tourism, real estate, construction, and security.
The New York State marijuana legalization impact assessment report indicates that violent crime and property crime rates around medical marijuana dispensaries have not gone up since the legalization of medical marijuana in New York. This report supports the claim that when retail cannabis sales begin in New York, crime rates in New York municipalities will likely decrease.
According to the FBI UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting Program), marijuana-related crime rates in New York have declined since the legalization of medical marijuana in 2014. There were 30,624, 29,334, and 30,102 DUI arrests in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In recent years, the state recorded 25,364 and 17,422 DUI arrests in 2019 and 2020. Marijuana sales arrests have also declined in New York, with arrest figures of 733 and 633 in 2013 and 2014 respectively decreasing to 329 and 130 in 2019 and 2020.