by Travis C | Jul 21, 2022 | Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Industry News, Legalization, Marijuana
In March of this year the New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB), which oversees the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), proposed a regulatory framework to create and oversee Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Licenses.
These licenses will be the first allowing retailers to sell recreational cannabis in New York, outside of tribal lands. However only certain individuals meeting a “justice-involved” standard will be eligible to apply.
OCM officials have said that the state will issue between 100 and 200 Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Licenses. Plans to release the licenses are currently slated for late 2022 or early 2023.
An “Eligible Applicant” is:
An applicant that has:
a) a significant presence in New York State, either individually or by having a principal corporate location in the state;
b) is incorporated or otherwise organized in the state; or
c) a majority of the owners are residents by being physically present in the state no less than 180 calendar days during the current year or 540 calendar days over the course of 3 years;
An individual, or an entity with one or more individuals, where at least one individual:
a) Is “Justice-Involved,” meanings individuals who were; or had a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or dependent who was; or were a dependent of an individual who was convicted of a marijuana-related offense in New York before March 31, 2021;
b) Provides evidence of the primary residence of the Justice-Involved individual at the time of said individual’s arrest or conviction; and
c) The Justice-Involved individual holds or held for at least two years at least 10% ownership and control of a business that had net profits for at least 2 years, or a qualifying nonprofit.
A nonprofit that is: recognized as an entity pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; intentionally serves Justice-Involved individuals and communities with historically high rates of arrest, conviction, incarceration or other indicators of law enforcement activity for marijuana-related offenses; operates and manages a social enterprise that had at least two years of positive net assets or profit; has a history of creating vocational opportunity for Justice-Involved individuals; has board members or officers who are Justice-Involved; has at least five full-time employees.
Additional requirements include 51% ownership in aggregate by one or more individuals who meets the requirements of (1) and (2). 30% ownership by at least one individual who satisfies (1) and (2) whom exercises sole control of the applicant or licensee.
As for the license itself, the conditional period for which the Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Retail Dispensary Licenses applies will last four years from when the license is issued. An applicant that receives a license must begin operations within 12 months of it being granted.
Cannabis products can only be acquired from authorized entities, and can only be distributed within the state.
The licensee “shall enter into and comply with all terms and conditions of any agreement with any fund approved by the [CCB] and made available by [OCM], including, but not limited to, accepting a dispensary location identified by the fund or office, any loan agreement with such fund, any lease or sublease agreement with the State of New York or its agents, or any other such agreements into which the licensee enters.”
After the Conditional Period, licensees may apply to transition to an adult-use retail dispensary license.
by Travis C | Jun 14, 2022 | Blog, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Industry News, Legalization, Politics
To start, the New York Office of Cannabis Management, the main agency overseeing the legal cannabis industry in New York, has yet to hire a Chief Equity Officer. This position would oversee the equity licensees that are slated to open their dispensaries at the end of this year.
Additionally, the 13-member advisory board meant to assist the OCM and the Cannabis Control Board has yet to be filled. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) specified in its legislation that these positions should have already been filled.
Despite the vacancies, the OCM is still committing to rolling out regulations and beginning adult-use cannabis sales this fall.
An OCM spokesman said that the agency is “hard at work” searching for a chief equity officer candidate and that they are “almost at the end of that process.” However there has been little updates on the advisory board which was supposed to start meeting in May.
Aside from issues with filling the various positions needed to begin developing and implementing regulations, there has also been some pushback from the state’s existing medical cannabis industry.
In an investigative piece conducted by Syracuse.com, patients have been experiencing long delays to enroll in the medical program. Many are unable to get the care they need.
Meanwhile, the OCM has had a slew of technology issues and has been ignoring patient concerns (according to the patients) while trying to catch up after a delayed start in establishing the recreational marketplace.
Last but certainly not least, the state has handed out nearly 150 conditional cannabis cultivation licenses to hemp farmers across the state, in an effort to produce recreational cannabis so that dispensaries could actually have product in the fall.
With more than half of those licensees being permitted in just the last month, it will be a tight timeline to harvest and process enough cannabis to meet the demand of what will likely become the largest cannabis industry in the country.
by Travis C | Apr 12, 2022 | 420 Culture & Travel, Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Culture, Industry News, Legalization
The New York legal cannabis industry may be delayed by politicians and bureaucracy, but that isn’t stopping Native tribes from rolling out their own markets.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe based in Akwesasne will be the first to launch a regulated cannabis market in New York state. Beginning April 15, several Tribal businesses will open their doors to sell cannabis flower, edibles and other cannabis products to consumers.
The Tribe is able to do so thanks to their Adult Use Cannabis Ordinance. The ordinance states that adults 21 years old or older can transport, possess, and use up to three ounces of cannabis and up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis.
Once New York legalized cannabis officially in 2020, the option to legalize the plant on tribal lands became more enticing. Not beholden to state laws and regulations regarding the plant, the Tribe was free to establish their own regulatory framework to permit sales and possession.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is also the first in the country to regulate and license tribal member-owned businesses for cannabis.
According to the Tribe, licensing fees collected from legal cannabis operations will be used to keep community members employed and fund a wide range of community services. Additionally the funds will help support educational scholarships, public safety, road maintenance, elder assistance, health care, and community organizations.
Tribal Chief Michael Conners said he believes the system will benefit the community while providing a safe product for consumers.
“We are confident that the hard work of the tribally licensed cannabis business owners will result in loyal customers from beyond Akwesasne,” Conners said. “We know that it took a while, but we are confident that our system is designed to provide quality product, in a regulated system, with Compliance oversight and a qualified Board of Managers to see that all regulations are followed for the safety of our community and consumers.”
by The Real Dirt | Feb 22, 2022 | Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Growing, Hemp, Industry News, Legalization
With this legislation, NY is creating a new Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator license, allowing hemp farmers to grow cannabis in the 2022 growing season.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed new legislation on Tuesday that will allow hemp farmers in the state to apply for a conditional license to grow cannabis.
With this legislation, New York is creating a new Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator license, allowing hemp farmers to grow cannabis in the 2022 growing season. Conditionally licensed cannabis farmers must hit certain requirements under this law.
According to the governor’s office, some of the requirements include, “safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly cultivation practices, participation in a social equity mentorship program, and engagement in a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization.”
“I am proud to sign this bill, which positions New York’s farmers to be the first to grow cannabis and jumpstart the safe, equitable and inclusive new industry we are building,” Hochul said. “New York State will continue to lead the way in delivering on our commitment to bring economic opportunity and growth to every New Yorker in every corner of our great state.”
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes added, “Last year, after many years of fighting, we finally enacted the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, and are beginning to undo the devastating impacts over 90 years of unequal enforcement of marijuana prohibition had on too many lives and communities. MRTA ensures that the legal adult-use market will be centered on equity and economic justice for communities of color and individuals that have been harmed most by the War on Drugs in the State of New York. With the passage of this bill, we have the opportunity to create a responsible start to the adult-use cannabis industry by authorizing temporary conditional cultivator and processor licenses to current New York hemp farmers. This authority will help secure enough safe, regulated, and environmentally conscious cannabis products to meet the demand of the adult-use cannabis market when retail dispensaries open. Importantly, this legislation calls for a Social Equity Mentorship Program, which will create a viable and inclusive path for social and economic equity partners interested in cannabis cultivation and processing to gain invaluable knowledge and experience in this emerging industry. The temporary conditional licenses authorized by this bill will ultimately help realize the vision and goals of the MRTA.”
by Travis C | Feb 15, 2022 | Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Growing, Industry News, Legalization, Politics
While the Office of Cannabis Management lags behind establishing a regulation and licensing process for recreational cannabis in New York, lawmakers are trying to find a workaround in the meantime.
In an effort to ensure that equity applicants — those who will open dispensaries first in the state — have product on their shelves when they open, a bill has been introduced to permit limited cultivation of recreational cannabis via already licensed hemp farmers in the state. Assembly Bill A2682A and Senate Bill S8084A propose the use of “conditional adult-use cultivator licenses” that would give cannabis-adjacent growers (i.e. hemp growers) the ability to plant and process recreational marijuana.
Assembly Speaker Crystal Peoples-Stokes was a sponsor of the bill and one its biggest proponents.
“It provides a conditional license to make sure when licensing is in place that equity business will have a product to put on their shelves,” she said. The legislation would only permit recreational cultivation licenses to valid industrial hemp growers that have been authorized from the Department of Agriculture and Markets, as of December 31, 2021.
With the outdoor planting season beginning in May in New York, legislators are hoping that the bill will pass before then. Should the bill pass, the conditional licenses would eventually expire, requiring the grower to apply for a full license.
New York legalized cannabis for adult use in 2021. However the state has yet to establish a regulated market and regulators say legal sales likely won’t begin until 2023.