The legal cannabis industry in New York is growing. And with that the regulations in the state.
A comprehensive set of labeling, packaging, and advertising guidelines have been issued by the Cannabis Control Board, a division of the Office of Cannabis Management responsible for regulating marijuana laws across the state. The cannabis sector is experiencing a trend toward more sophisticated enforcement and regulation, especially for products that can appeal to minors.
Cannabis Advertising Rules In New York
Branding is permitted on labels, signage, and other materials by adult-use licensees. They are allowed to “develop advertising and marketing materials assuming that the primary purpose of the advertising is to displace the illicit market and educate the consumer of the location of licensed retail dispensaries.” Public health or safety must not be jeopardized by advertising, nor must it encourage youth consumption or appeal to anyone under the age of twenty-one.
Only if the licensee has solid proof that at least 90% of the audience is twenty-one or older can they legally market cannabis on television, radio, print, the internet, mobile apps, social media, and other electronic platforms. It is the licensee’s responsibility to substantiate the audience composition. Similarly, a licensee may support a philanthropic, sporting, or comparable event, but only if they can demonstrate that at least 90% of the audience will be 21 years of age or older.
To ensure adherence to the advertising regulations, a licensee is required to maintain records and documentation of all advertising materials. A licensee who uses an app or website to promote must have security measures in place to prevent anyone under the age of 21 from accessing the platform.
Only adult-size clothing can be sold inside the licensed premises. The apparel allowed for sale can display its brand and trademark. If a licensee engages in a licensing, marketing, or advertising deal with a third party, the licensee must make sure the third party complies with OCM’s advertising regulations.
Cannabis Warnings Brands Must Include In Advertisements
Additionally, any promotion or advertising of cannabis or cannabis products shall incorporate, in a rotating manner, one of the following statements in its entirety::
- Cannabis may cause impairment and may be habit-forming
- Cannabis can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Driving or using machinery under the influence of cannabis is prohibited.
- There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product
- Not recommended for use by persons who are pregnant or nursing
Advertisements in print and on digital platforms must display all warnings:
- Language: English
- Font: Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial or Helvetica font
- Font size: size 6 (not smaller) font and in bold
- Other details: legible, unobscured, and visible to the consumer, and in a bright yellow text box so as to stand out from the surrounding advertisement.
Cannabis Regulations in New York Prohibit
- Cannabis advertisements 500 feet or less from a daycare facility or school
- Advertising that can entice and attract individuals under twenty-one includes the use of cartoons, games or toys, bubble-type fonts, bright or “neon” colors, and imitations of foods, beverages, and cookies among other things.
New York Cannabis Packaging Laws
In New York, all cannabis products must be packed in tamper-evident, opaque, child-resistant packaging. The packaging must not resemble any confectionery or food item that is sold commercially and must not entice youngsters.
The packaging must also include the following details:
- Amount of THC and CBD in the product
- Weight of the product
- List of all ingredients in the product
- Name and contact info of the cannabis manufacturer
- Date of production and expiration date
- Additional warnings or cautions
- List any solvent used
- Prohibits using the term organic
- Price must not be printed, no mention of rewards, customer loyalty programs, or coupons.
Employment Regulations In The New York Cannabis Industry
Employers are not permitted to penalize employees who use marijuana legally outside of the workplace. Employers have the authority to establish and enforce rules that forbid intoxication or usage at work.
Employers may take action against employees who use cannabis or are impaired by it while at work.
The local law in NYC forbids cannabis use testing before employment.
NYC regulations also prohibit employers from rejecting a job application, firing a worker, or taking any other negative action against them because they are certified medical marijuana patients.
A reasonable accommodation must be provided to medical marijuana users by employers with four or more employees. Unless doing so would violate federal law, result in the loss of a government contract or funding, or both.
What To Expect From New York Regulators
Even though New York approved marijuana for recreational use in 2021, it took almost two years for state authorities to start issuing licenses to businesses. Early this year, once the OCB started the licensing procedure, the first licensed store opened. Because of this, it is probable that the New York market will expand its legal presence and that its enforcers will continue developing the state’s regulatory framework.