MRTA Law, P.C.
Boutique law firm specializing in the newly-created laws under the NYS Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act. On March 31, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the "Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act" (S.854-A / 1248-A; also known as the "New York State Cannabis Law," codified under the Consolidated Law of New York, Title 7-A). There are six (6) articles under the New York State Cannabis Law that govern the legality of cannabis in New York State; however, two articles, specifically Article 4 ("Adult-use Cannabis") which covers NY Can Law Statutes 61-89, and Article 2 ("New York State Cannabis Control Board") of the NY Can Law Statutes 7-20, will determine how New York State's regulatory framework will shape how "adult-use" recreational marijuana will be grown, tested, distributed, extracted, and retailed. Literally, billions of dollars in the emergent recreational cannabis economy will be distributed to those with valid New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) licenses and registrations.
MRTA Law, P.C. will assist clients with the NYS Adult Use Cannabis application process, including any necessary notifications to the Community Board or township, as well as provide strategic advice on:
Develop Business Plan as part of License Application
Securing appropriate commercial space in various NYS markets
Negotiating and reviewing real estate Letter of Intent documents
Site selection and space installation
Lease negotiation and execution
Connecting to necessary vendors (security, software, hardware, cash management solutions)
Referrals to financial lending institutions and industry-specific insurance carriers
Strategy and Business Plan Development
Employee Handbook, Policy Development, and Staff Training
Additionally, MRTA Law, P.C. will remain available for clients throughout the license life-cycle, including:
Representation before any Office of Cannabis Management administrative hearings
And if necessary, and judicial appeals under NY CPLR Article 78 proceedings
Read MRTA P.C.'s published articles in: Cannabis Business Times
NY Cannabis Law (Chapter 7-A of the Consolidated Laws) can be found online at: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CAN
New York State Bar Association Ethics Opinion 1225 (July 8, 2021): (Full PDF of NYSBA Op. 1225)
Topic: Counseling clients engaged in recreational marijuana business; accepting partial ownership of recreational marijuana business in lieu of fee; personal use of recreational marijuana.
Digest: In light of current federal enforcement policy, the New York Rules of Professional Conduct permit a lawyer to assist a client in conduct designed to comply with New York’s Recreational Marijuana Law and its implementing regulations, notwithstanding that federal narcotics law prohibits the activities authorized by that law. A lawyer may also use marijuana for recreational purposes and may, when the law becomes fully effective, cultivate an authorized amount of marijuana plants at home for personal use. Finally, subject to compliance with Rules 1.7 and 1.8(a), an attorney may accept an equity ownership interest in a cannabis business in exchange for legal services.
Rules: 1.1(a); 1.2(d); 1.3; 1.16(b)(2); 1.7; 1.8(a); 8.4(b); 8.4(h).
17. Third, the need for lawyer assistance to clients to assure compliance with state regulatory requirements in the medical marijuana industry, which justifies continued federal forbearance, applies with equal if not more force to recreational marijuana. For example, the licensing process under New York’s Recreational Marijuana Law will function more expeditiously and with more consistency if lawyers can assist with preparing and submitting license applications and can counsel the regulators reviewing those applications. More generally, in a complex regulatory system where cultivation, distribution, possession, sale and use of a product are tightly regulated, legal advice and guidance has immense value. Without the aid of lawyers, the recreational marijuana regulatory system would, in our view, likely break down or grind to a halt. The participation of attorneys thus secures the benefits of the Recreational Marijuana Law for the public at large, as well promotes the interests of the private and public sector clients more directly involved in the law’s implementation.
lifehacker.com: How to Break Into the Legal Weed Industry, by Lindsey Ellefson (7/5/21):
"Stay informed on local rules are regulations
In conversations with Wilks and Flora Growth CEO Luis Merchan, one theme kept popping up: read the news, stay aware of rules and regulations in various regions, and don’t get complacent.
You know weed sales have been an economic staple in this country for decades, but what’s new is the transition to legality, which is sweeping across America, changing cannabis consumption and sales, and facing a variety of regulations and taxes as it goes. If you want to succeed in a rapidly-changing business, you need to stay on top of the changes. Set some Google alerts and familiarize yourself with outlets and reporters covering the cannabis industry."