Cannabis Industry Wounds Self-Inflicted
Cannabis Industry Wounds Self-Inflicted – we have previously written about:
The selfish actions of executives of the National Cannabis Industry Association [“NCIA”] for spending lavishly on executive salaries and trade shows and rather than local lobbying efforts $400K out of total revenues of $2.95MM]for the cannabis industry [See 2017 Form 990 on Guidestar.com. and
The recent publication of an internal finance memo from the California Growers Association by MJBizDaily.com.
Well, we have yet another “shit show” to share with everyone based upon an article in Marijuana Moment this morning. We will let the article speak for itself.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) took marijuana reform supporters by pleasant surprise when he endorsed legalization last year after previously calling cannabis a “gateway drug” that should remain prohibited. But for advocates, there was at least one major disappointment in store when he got around to revealing the details of his plan: the proposal, unveiled as part of his budget last month, would ultimately include a ban on home cultivation of recreational marijuana.
Home growing—seen by many as a commonsense policy that ensures access to cannabis for individuals who can’t afford retail prices, live too far from a dispensary or just want to flex their green thumbs—has been a feature of almost all legal adult-use marijuana systems operating in the U.S., with the exception of Washington State’s. So what’s behind the New York governor’s opposition to letting adults cultivate their own crops?
It could be that Cuomo took a page from the commercial cannabis industry. Literally.
Roughly a month before the governor announced the details of his legalization proposal, a New York-based marijuana business association—led by the executives of the state’s major licensed medical cannabis providers—sent a policy statement to Cuomo’s office in the interest of offering “some thoughts on various issues associated with a transition from medical to adult-use.”
Politico first reported the existence of the document, created by New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association (NYMCIA), in December. This month, Marijuana Moment obtained the full 29-page memo through a state freedom of information law request.
The group recognized that people want home cultivation because of “currently high prices of medical marijuana” or because they see it as “individual civil liberty.” But according to NYMCIA, home cultivation “creates significant public safety and black market risk.”
The industry organization listed five claims to support that argument:
Home grow will make it impossible for the state to eliminate the black market.
Home grow will make it impossible for law enforcement to distinguish between legal and illegal products, thus frustrating enforcement efforts.
Home grow will undermine the state’s harm reduction goal of ensuring that cannabis sold in New York State is grown without noxious pesticides or other contaminants.
Home grow will undermine the state’s public health interest in ensuring that cannabis sold in New York State is tested, packaged, and labeled correctly.
Home grow will cost the state tax revenue, thus hindering the state’s ability to fund priorities such as drug abuse treatment and community investment.
Per that last point, it’s entirely reasonable to assume that New York state would miss out on some sales tax revenue if residents decided to grow their own plants. But the other side of that dilemma is that it’d likely mean missed profits for cannabis businesses, including those affiliated with NYMCIA.
Congratulations NYMCIA, Attorney General Sessions would have been proud of you.