Where NY Stands on Hemp Legalization

November 22, 2019 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

When I last talked about this subject, I promised you that I would seek additional information about the current state of the law regarding hemp production now that it has been removed as a schedule I drug. The bottom line is this: those of you who have relationships with authorized growers and processors as a result of 2014 changes to the law can continue with those relationships. However, for those of you who do not have those relationships, it will probably take several months before entities can begin legally growing hemp in New York State.

As I talked about in a previous blog, in 2014, the federal government authorized states such as New York to offer hemp growers the opportunity to work with academic institutions. In 2018, the federal government legalized hemp but mandated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture establish a legal framework for states wishing to authorize the industry. The USDA has now issued temporary regulations and is accepting comments. The Association will be commenting.

After these regulations are finalized, New York State will have to promulgate its own regulations, as well as get approval for its program from the USDA. This process will take several months to complete, and until the process is done, the broader hemp authorization is effectively blocked.

On a practical level, here are my takeaways given the state of affairs. Most importantly, for those of you operating under the 2014 authorization, the status quo remains in effect. For those of you seeking to work with producers authorized under the 2018 legislation, there is much you can start to do to prepare for the legalization, such as due diligence and establishing policies and procedures which you can finalize and adjust once the regulatory framework has been set. However, what you should not do is assume that hemp is legal for all purposes in New York State right now.

Second Chance Guidance Finalized by NCUA

Here’s an important one for your HR people.

At its board meeting yesterday, the NCUA finalized new guidance explaining steps you should take when you find out a job applicant or existing employee has been convicted of a crime which may disqualify them from employment in your credit union. As I explained in this blog, these changes are long overdue. On a more cautious note, more and more scrutiny is being placed on employment practices as they relate to people who have been convicted of crimes. Read this guidance and update your policies and procedures accordingly.

Do we really need all Christmas music all the time?

I freely admit to being a glass half empty kind of guy. That being said, I think my cynicism is fully justified when it comes to the onslaught of 24 hour Christmas music a month and a half before the big day. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to listen to 24 hours of Christmas, get some headphones and satellite radio, and go crazy. But for those of us who watch too many sports, we are already being inundated with a Christmas season that now begins the day after Halloween. Too much Christmas too early takes too much fun out of what should be an upbeat time of year.

On that happy note, happy holidays, and enjoy your weekend.

Entry filed under: Compliance, General, HR, Legal Watch, New York State, Regulatory. Tags: , , .

With USAA Patent Win, Mitek Litigation Takes Center Stage Happy Thanksgiving

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association. In addition, although Henry strives to give his readers useful and accurate information on a broad range of subjects, many of which involve legal disputes, his views are not a substitute for legal advise from retained counsel.

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