In NY, CBD Manufacturers And Distributors Now Must Be Licensed

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Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Health is now accepting applications from businesses seeking licensure to operate as cannabinoid hemp processors, retailers, or distributors. Cannabinoid hemp includes many CBD products currently available for purchase, including tinctures, vaporizations, oils, topicals, pills, capsules and food and beverages.

Pursuant to Article 33-B of the Public Health law, the Department of Health created the Cannabinoid Hemp Program which is now licensing cannabinoid hemp processors, distributors, and retailers, as well as setting quality control standards. This Program is intended to fill in the regulatory void for the processing and manufacturing of cannabinoid hemp products. The acceptance of applications is in response to the October 2020 proposed regulations for the Program seeking to regulate such products in New York State.

Anyone holding an active research partnership agreement with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, authorizing that person to process cannabinoid hemp, will be awarded licensure. People authorized to grow hemp are not authorized to process cannabinoid hemp or hemp extract without first being licensed as a cannabinoid hemp processor.

Any business extracting or manufacturing cannabinoid hemp in New York State must obtain a Cannabinoid Hemp Processor license. Likewise, any business selling cannabinoid hemp products to consumers in New York State must be licensed as a Cannabinoid Hemp Retailer. Additionally, distributors of cannabinoid hemp products manufactured outside of New York State must obtain a Cannabinoid Hemp Distributor Permit. A business without a license may not sell, extract, or manufacture cannabinoid hemp in New York State, and may be subject to fines that increase with the number of violations.

“Opening cannabinoid hemp processor, distributor and retailer applications is the first step to ensuring a safe and regulated supply chain for cannabinoid hemp products,” New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker stated.

This alert was also co-written by Joseph P. DiBella, a law school graduate who is not yet admitted to the New York State Bar.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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