How Did The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in New York Affect My Business?

In March of 2021, the Governor of New York signed in a new law deemed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana. The main intention of this law change was to create a substantial taxation revenue stream. Depending on the industry you’re in, there are a few different ways this law change could have impacted your business. Read on to learn more:

1. Drug Testing
Due to the law change, New York drug testing laws have changed and employers are now prohibited from testing their employees for marijuana use. There are a few sensitive industries where it is possible to test, but for the most part drug testing in the workplace can no longer include marijuana screening. As marijuana is now legal, it should be thought of in a similar light to alcohol. It may take a while for people’s minds to catch up with the law change, but if you are a business owner it’s important that you’re mindful of this change. Employers can no longer make decisions on who to employ based on marijuana use outside of the workplace. However, much like alcohol, an employer may be able to take steps if their employee is under the influence of marijuana while at work.

2. New Revenue Streams

If you’re in an industry where you sell tobacco, it may be a logical next step to start selling marijuana too. You’ll have to become familiar with the legal amounts that can be held by a single person, as well as the rules around sale. It is estimated that once established, the market for marijuana in New York will be in the number of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars each year. It could be a good time to focus on finding ways that this could be profitable for your business. In order to sell marijuana or cannabis based products, businesses have to go through licensing processes in order to meet New York’s state requirements. If you’re interested in exploring this as an income stream for your business, it may be worth looking into the licensing process.

3. Illegal to Drive Under the Influence
Much like alcohol, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana or cannabis products. Depending on what industry you’re in, this may be extremely relevant for you in the workplace or when commuting to and from work. This is of particular importance if you have a company car, or employees who are traveling between job sites. Be sure to make them aware that it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana and cannabis products, particularly for your insurance purposes.

Hopefully the law change hasn’t impacted your business too much, or if it has, that it has been in a positive way. The anticipated tax revenue from the law change is set to make a considerable difference in communities throughout the state.