New York Senator Jeremy A. Cooney sponsored a bill intended to provide marijuana farmers with provisional licenses, reported News10 ABC. Senate Bill 7295 (SB 7295) seeks to amend the current cannabis laws in the state, the latest of which was the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which was recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The bill is titled “An act to amend the cannabis law, in relation to establishing an adult-use cultivator provisional license.” It requires the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) to “establish and implement an adult-use cultivator’s provisional license if it is unable to issue cultivator’s licenses by January 1, 2022.”
The bill also proposes the issuance of provisional licenses if no process for the issuance of adult-cultivator’s licenses or no process for provisional licenses has been established.
In the bill, the justification for this proposal rests on the potential of the cannabis market to become a multi-billion-dollar industry. It also seeks to aid farmers to prepare for future cannabis sales by giving them provisional licenses, which will allow them to take early steps to obtain seeds and begin growing crops.
According to the bill, seeds should be planted by June 2022 in order for farmers to harvest in time for the official opening for sales. However, sources of seeds should be pinpointed earlier than June 2022, which farmers cannot do without a license. A provisional license will give them the go signal to source their seeds in preparation for the opening.
To achieve this, the bill proposes an amendment to the existing cannabis law by adding a new section. It details the conditions and considerations explained above to serve as the standards for providing provisional licenses.
If this amendment is approved, the act will take immediately, as per the additional provisions proposed by the bill.
SB 7295 has only been introduced and in committee. In order to succeed, it needs to clear the committee and the floor, as well as the senate and the assembly. After this, it will be delivered to the governor who will decide if the bill will be signed into law or vetoed.
Cooney is confident that his “legislation will allow farmers across New York to plant seeds in the ground so that we don’t fall further behind and miss another growing season.”
Meanwhile, New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act is yet to get a strong framework. The Office of Cannabis Management, which is the agency that is supposed to oversee the NY cannabis industry, does not operate fully as of yet. It is also not fully staffed.
Cooney commented, “I don’t know who is currently behind the magic curtain, if you will, but clearly, we do not have an Executive Director, because that individual has to be confirmed by the New York State Senate and that has not come up for a vote, yet.”
He added, “And we do not have a fully operational Office of Cannabis management Board, because again, the Board Chair has to be confirmed by the New York State Senate.”