Making Legalization Work
Tax rates, social equity, and legalizing the legacy market
Reports on the progress of cannabis legalization in California consistently focus on the challenges that the massive unlicensed market there poses to licensed market operators due in large part to the price differential between taxed and untaxed products.
With the largest illegal cannabis market in the world, the New York City metropolitan area can expect that the success of a legal adult use cannabis market here will also depend on whether the tax structure that the Governor and legislature create incentivizes consumers to make their purchases from licensed businesses.
Join the NYC Cannabis Industry Association for an explanation of the basics of retail taxation and a projection of how the tax rate in New York’s proposed cannabis law could affect the success of licensed cannabis businesses here—with a special focus on the potential impact on social equity applicants and small businesses generally. One major policy issue that no one has addressed is how to integrate the existing “legacy market” into the new licensed market – in other words, how to legalize the existing illegal market.
Our interactive discussion will address some or all of the following issues:
- What tax structure can make a licensed market in New York competitive against the unlicensed market?
- What could typical retail prices be under the the pending legalization bills, Governor Cuomo’s Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act and the legislature’s Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act?
- Who qualifies as a social equity applicant under the CRTA and the MRTA, and what funding will be available to help obtain licenses and operate successfully?
- What amnesty program could enable legacy market operators to come above-ground and act as the foundation for the legal market, providing capital and expert guidance?
Jessica F. Gonzalez, Esq.
Attorney; Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C./General Counsel; Minorities for Medical Marijuana
Jessica currently serves as a Cannabis and Intellectual Property attorney at Bressler Amery & Ross. Jessica also serves as outside General Counsel for the national organization Minorities for Medical Marijuana and sits on the Policy Committee for the Minority Cannabis Business Association.
Jessica also sits on the board of advisors for QA Canna, a quality assurance company based in NJ. Prior to joining Bressler, Jessica was the co-founding partner at MGA Law PC, a boutique business law firm with a special focus on cannabis. As a cannabis attorney, Jessica assists cannabis clients navigate the legal cannabis and hemp industry in the tristate area. She has counseled start up and medium sized cannabis/CBD companies on various matters, including corporate entity set-up, state and local compliance, private offering documents and applications for state cannabis licenses.
Zachary Gordon, CPA
Senior Manager (Real Estate and Cannabis Industry Practice Groups), Janover, LLC
Zach works primarily in the Cannabis, CAS and Real Estate practices, with a focus on Cannabis-related services such as deal and business structuring, 280E tax planning and optimization, business consulting and license application consulting and financial modeling, as well business process automation/optimization, family office financial statement compilations and reviews, tax planning and related services.
He has extensive experience in private equity and the tech startup space. He has experience in the fields of Real Estate, Cannabis, Not-For-Profits, Healthcare Tech, Fintech, Fitness Tech and Social Media. He is an advisor to several Cannabis and non-Cannabis companies across multiple vertices including technology, human resources and consumer packaged goods serves as advisor to a Cannabis-focused Technology Incubator. He is the Chair of the Cannabis Industry Committee and sits on the Technology Assurance Committee for the NYSSCPA, and sits on the Cannabis Committee for the AICPA.
David Holland, Esq.
President, New York City Cannabis Industry Association
Dave is a Manhattan-based litigation attorney and co-founder of both the New York City Cannabis Industry (NYCCIA) and the Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association (HVCIA). He is also the Executive and Legal Director of Empire State NORML, the New York State affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Dave spent a dozen years serving Of Counsel to the late Michael Kennedy, Esq., a renowned criminal defense and cannabis advocate, and provided counsel to High Times Magazine.
He is a frequent lecturer to attorneys and lawmakers about the constitutional issues presented by federal and state cannabis laws and has brought legal actions on behalf of individuals and activist groups challenging the scheduling of cannabis under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.