NY paves way for big expansion in cannabis market

The New York State Cannabis Control voted Tuesday to finalize the Office of Cannabis Management’s proposed regulations for the adult-use cannabis market.

What does this mean? It means a broad expanse of individuals and small businesses will now be able to apply for cultivator, distributor, microbusiness and retail dispensary licenses, beginning on Oct. 4, 2023.

Also, Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators and Conditional Processors, already in operation, will be able to apply for full, non-conditional licenses.

Priority consideration for adult-use cannabis licenses will go to applicants who qualify as individuals from a disproportionately impact community, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veterans, classified as “social and economic equity (SEE) applicants.” SEE applicants will receive a 50% fee reduction in application or licensing fees and will be eligible for application support and technical training through a program to launch this fall.

New Yorkers wanting to apply for licenses may file through the New York Business Express platform; OCM will soon release detailed application instructions on its website.

“Today’s unveiling of our cannabis licensing program represents a defining moment for New York State’s commitment to entrepreneurship and fostering a truly diverse cannabis marketplace. Starting this October, aspiring business owners can navigate the application process for various licenses with ease through the New York Business Express (NYBE) platform,” said Tremaine Wright, Chairwoman of the New York State Cannabis Control Board. “Our pledge to social and economic equity will continue to take center stage, ensuring that individuals and communities from all backgrounds have a fair shot at success in this burgeoning industry. With these comprehensive additions, New York solidifies its reputation as a trailblazing leader in the cannabis world.”

The Cannabis Association of New York released the following statement: “Today’s Cannabis Control Board meeting opened the door for big cannabis to come in and compete with New York-based businesses. But the Cannabis Association of New York has always been at the forefront with solutions during the cannabis rollout, and today is no different. For New York to protect locally-based small businesses, the following steps must be taken. One, reform the potency tax, as this disproportionately harms small businesses. Two, regulations must be immediately fixed. This includes giving the ROs and small, locally-based cultivators and processors equal limits of canopy space. Three, prioritize the enforcement of illegal operators – instead of coming down on legal, small businesses with more endless red tape.”