Cannabis Webinar Prepares Entrepreneurs to Enter New York Industry

Cannabis – Webinar Photo

Starting a business is intimidating and exhausting under the best of circumstances. But preparing to enter a highly competitive industry that is still being established? Well, that’s grueling. To ease the process, Schneps Media hosted the “NY gets a Green Light for Cannabis” webinar on February 15, moderated by Elizabeth Aloni and Jill Carvajal and featuring four industry experts: Patrik Jonsson, an executive at Curaleaf; Elizabeth Kase, the co-chair of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek’s Cannabis Law Practice Group; Jill Scher, tax specialist and partner at Marcum LLP; and Mitch Baruchowitz, founder and managing partner of Merida Capital Holdings LLC.

During this hour-long virtual event, the four panelists weighed in on everything from the expected timeline for the release of retail regulations, the available resources for Social Equity applicants, how businesses can best take advantage of the New York’s cannabis tax system, and what to expect during the transition from a medical market to one that is driven by retail and adult-use sales. 

The discussion was rich with incisive observations and resourceful ideas. Jonsson, for example, suggested that New York adopt a partnership program similar to the one implemented in Connecticut. Larger corporations would be able to partner with Social Equity applicants, which would help ensure that these smaller businesses would have a strong start in the market.

While there was general consensus among the panelists on many of the questions they were posed, a lively discussion erupted over tax regulations. At one point Baruchowitz declared, “No one has ever been able to articulate why cannabis must be taxed at every level and every point of entry as opposed to . . . How come Oreos aren’t taxed that way? Who is articulating why cannabis needs to be overtaxed this way, why it needs to be taxed at every level when we already have a sales tax. The state knows how to tax things.” The topic of taxes continued to be kicked around until the moderators intervened, citing the remaining questions yet to be discussed. Proof – if any was needed – that these conversations are far from over, and that additional panels fostering dialogue will be invaluable as the industry develops.

The current state of cannabis in New York has much to sort out, but there exist many reasons to be hopeful. “There’s a lot of positive things,” Scher concluded. “The OCM has a great board at the head of it. A lot of really good things are happening, and I’m totally excited about it.”


To watch the webinar, click here. Subscribe to Schneps Media for more conversations with industry experts.