How do New York regulators view cannabis giveaways?

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New York’s Cannabis Control Board is warning the increasing numbers of companies giving away free cannabis samples with the purchase of t-shirts, lighters or anything else is illegal, reports WSKG.

“There is no gray market in New York state,” said chair Tremaine Wright in a meeting last week. “This conduct is not legal and must stop. Individuals who do not cease run the risk of severe financial penalties.”

Free gift with [overpriced] purchase

Last month, Rochester news site CITY reported that HempSol CBD, a store in Henrietta, New York, was offering a free eighth of cannabis with the purchase of a t-shirt, which cost $65. The owner, Jim Mackenzie, said under the new cannabis laws, gifts up to three ounces of cannabis are legal.

Since the article was published, a number of CBD stores started doing the same.

Jumping the gun

Cannabis possession is legal in New York, and medical dispensaries were recently told they would be allowed to add cannabis flower to their menus for the first time. But the rules governing those sales and forthcoming regulated adult-use sales are still in the works.

While companies have been warned, it’s not clear what kinds of fines could be issued or if they will face consequences at this time. In Chemung County, for example, the executive assistant district attorney Susan Rider-Ulacco said they’ve been unable to contact the state cannabis board for guidance.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania…

While New York’s cannabis policy headaches are only beginning, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf tweeted that its state legislation is still in the works — but that his office is working to pardon cannabis-related offenses “ as quickly as we can.”

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