proposal would criminalize the “gift” of cannabis | News, Sports, Jobs

A marijuana plant is grown under lights at Boulder County Caregivers in Boulder, Colorado. Photo AP

The New York Office of Cannabis Management has made it clear that stores that currently sell or offer marijuana are breaking the law.

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, R-Corning, wants to clarify state law on the matter with A.9815, introduced earlier this week and referred to the Assembly Codes Committee. Palmesano wants to better define the illegal activities of those who use the companies as a front to sell cannabis in violation of state cannabis control law and impose civil penalties.

Palmesano wants to change state criminal law to designate anyone employed by or operating a business, store, club, or facility that sells, transfers, offers, or trades cannabis without the proper licenses, the seriousness of the charge varying depending on the amount of cannabis involved.

“Since New York State legalized the recreational use of cannabis, certain commercial establishments, known as ‘sticker shops’, have used their businesses as a front to sell or offer cannabis without permission. required legal or state authorization”, Palmesano wrote in his legislative justification. “Sticker shops have taken advantage of what some consider a ‘loophole’ in the state’s cannabis law because the wording of the law does not expressly prohibit the ‘donation’ of cannabis products. to individuals. To circumvent this “loophole”, these establishments sell a number of cheap items, such as stickers, at a significantly inflated price, then offer marijuana as a “free gift” with their purchase. Despite enforcement actions taken by the Office of Cannabis Management, these stores continue to violate the law with minimal consequences.

In February, the state Office of Cannabis Management sent letters to more than two dozen businesses suspected of illegally selling marijuana, telling them to stop or face fines, criminal charges potential risks and a risk to their chances of obtaining a license once they become available. Prior to this, the bureau warned that promotional giveaways of marijuana or cannabis were illegal, although that hasn’t stopped many stores from using such incentives.

All actions threatened by the Office of Cannabis Management are also listed as penalties under Palmesano’s bill. Palmesano also offers to have fines paid to the Office of Cannabis Management and forwarded to the county where the violation occurs.

“This proposal would clearly indicate that no such “loophole“exists and would give the state the power to prosecute these individuals criminally and civilly to deter companies from participating in these illegal activities”, wrote Palmesano.

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