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Jeffrey Hoffman is a New York City-based attorney who hosts “Ask Me Anything about Cannabis Legalization in New York” each week on LinkedIn. Hoffman and NY Cannabis Insider have partnered to bring those sessions into print in a Q&A format.

Hoffman’s practice focuses on cannabis industry clients, including licensees in the adult-use market, practitioners in the medical cannabis space, and cannabis-adjacent product and service providers.

He has a particular interest in social and economic equity cannabis license applicants, and he also informs and assists those convicted of cannabis offenses in getting such convictions expunged from their record. He can be reached at

The following AMA from August 23 has been edited for length and clarity.

How was the Hamptons Cannabis Expo?

It was awesome. The cops showed up briefly due to some parking issues and whatnot, so that was pretty hilarious. The cops showed up to a weed event and nobody got arrested. There’s one for the record books. But the event was great – well attended, lots of great vendors and speakers. Joe Ortiz was there with his home grow business – always great to see Joe.

Apparently somebody took a picture of me in front of the cannabis plant he had there. Joe thought I had it, but I don’t, so if you’ve got that picture, please send it to Joe. It was also Andrew Cooper and King Singh’s birthday so that was pretty special. We’re working with King to try to get insurance coverage for medical cannabis, so always good to see him. Also my buddy Sweet Lou Magazzu was the moderator for a panel – love it when folks make the trip from parts unknown on the other side of the Hudson.

Are most growers using LED systems to grow in New York?

No, because right now in New York, there’s only outdoor and greenhouse grows. The indoor licenses will come when the application opens this October.

Has New York finalized the labeling and packaging requirements regarding information requirements and rules?

Yes, you will find them in Part 128 of the regulations.

Any thoughts on when they’ll allow consumption at CGS type events?

Yes, and the answer is never. People would just get up in arms with that. It’s OK – just buy at the CGS and then step over to a space where you could legally smoke a cigarette and you’re good to go.

How do you legally sell to a dispensary when you just grow at different areas without a license?

You don’t, because what you are doing is illegal and no dispensary would risk their license buying from you.

Did you ever grow cannabis?

I did on and off from the late ‘80s into the early ‘00s. And I was also a processor in the late-’80s before everyone called it RSO – we called it The Goo. We got some chemistry lab equipment and some ethyl ether which for my money is probably the best way to extract The Goo from cannabis. Also, for those of you that are big Hunter S. Thompson fans, and especially Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, my favorite quote is: “The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge.”

So obviously, we needed to know what that was like. Anyway, we set up a whole process in this huge bathroom on the third floor of a house I lived in. You chop up the weed and then put it in the ethyl ether until it turns dark black. You then very gently boil off the ether and ideally recapture it to reuse in the process (or I guess huff it like Dr. Thompson). So why did we do this? Because back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s in North Carolina, you could easily go to jail for a joint – we’re talking draconian cannabis enforcement. So you didn’t want to go to parties or clubs carrying a lot of weed. So what we would do is make The Goo very viscous and then open a fresh pack of cigarettes and put the first cigarette into The Goo. And the cigarette would sort of soak up The Goo. Then when you go to the party or club, you smoke that cigarette and you’re wasted. When the cops eventually bust the party, you’re good to go because you’re not holdin’. You could even walk up to the cops and pester them while the rest of your friends scrambled off into the night.

What are the legal pathways for provisional licensees if the CAURD program is deemed unconstitutional?

So if they find it unconstitutional, and take your license, you probably have a shot at an irreparable harm claim. That’s why the judge is trying to avoid that path and trying to get the parties to settle.

Any word on the micro business application opening?

Yes, it should be October, unless something goes crazy.

Questions for Bruce Sterman

I’m sitting in Bruce Sterman’s apartment today. Bruce does ops for the NYCHVCIA so his opinion carries a lot of weight for me, so we’re gonna ask him a few questions.

Bruce, what is your opinion of all the craziness going on with NY cannabis?

I think it’s extremely painful that it has come to this. I think it’s really irresponsible. I think it was irresponsible in the beginning when they decided to not follow what is really very simple language in the law. I think that the judge has pointed the finger at who’s to blame. And it frustrates me to no end that whoever is really running the show at the OCM wouldn’t come together and figure out how to settle this.

It’s really a tragedy for the CAURD people. I have a friend that I’m working with who wants to open a shop in Astoria. And he’s done with construction. He’s already got photographs of a completely built out storefront. His life is hanging in the balance.

Can you tell the folks a bit about the New York City & Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association?

We are one of the oldest cannabis associations dealing with adult-use cannabis. Our membership is spread across the cannabis value chain, and our members are all frustrated to the nth degree about this industry not being able to move forward. We welcome anyone to come to our events, the next of which will be September 27th at Harlem Tavern.

What kinds of things are you specifically going to do to push the regulated market along?

One that I’ve just put out is a website called And it’s meant to help identify all of the unlicensed stores. As I heard Desheeda Dawson say recently, the opportunists are impacting the legal stores. Yes, we need more stores open. Yes, the stores need to delight their customers. Yes, we need a better tax regime. But if you’re going to allow over 1000 illicit stores in NYC, then the regulated market doesn’t even have a chance to get started.

 What if CAURD is deemed unconstitutional? Consumption at CGS events? What are the NYC & Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Associations?  Read More