New York Awards Grownup-Use Retail Licenses, However Heaps of Questions Stay

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The board additionally issued 282 pages of latest trade guidelines.

The New York Hashish Management Board on Monday awarded its first spherical of adult-use hashish permits, together with 282 pages of latest trade guidelines and a few important coverage updates. However a small mountain of questions stays for stakeholders, leaving the market’s close to future nonetheless shrouded in uncertainty for a lot of.

The one factor that does seem extra stable after Monday, stakeholders mentioned, is an elevated chance that New York will be capable of make good on its long-standing promise that leisure hashish gross sales will start by the tip of the yr.

Nonetheless, it seems that will doubtless occur via supply, and never a brick-and-mortar hashish retailer.

“It will assist jumpstart gross sales and allow these small enterprise homeowners to generate capital and scale their operations,” OCM tweeted, in an announcement that rec gross sales can be allowed first through supply.

💡BIG NEWS FOR CAURD LICENSEES:

OCM will enable qualifying companies to begin with supply for all licensed adult-use hashish merchandise.

It will assist jumpstart gross sales and allow these small enterprise homeowners to generate capital and scale their operations.

— NYS Workplace of Hashish Administration (@nys_cannabis) November 21, 2022

“We’re rounding the nook … an operational hashish market is inside attain,” CCB Chairwoman Tremaine Wright mentioned in the course of the board’s assembly.

The Winners

The CCB issued conditional hashish adult-use retail dispensary (CAURD) licenses to 36 eligible social fairness recipients, together with 28 companies or people and eight nonprofits:


There have been additionally one other 16 conditional cultivator licenses and eight processors accredited by the board on Monday, for a complete statewide of 277 hashish growers and 32 processors.

“There’s extra CAURD licenses below evaluation, and we’ll proceed to difficulty licenses on a rolling foundation, as we’ve got for our different license sorts,” mentioned OCM Govt Director Chris Alexander.

The OCM additionally introduced on Twitter following the Monday assembly that 18 CAURD licenses had been “blocked” by “lively litigation,” together with 4 licenses in Brooklyn, one within the Central New York area, 4 within the Western New York area, six within the mid-Hudson area, and three within the Finger Lakes area.

Whereas OCM is happy to announce New York’s first CAURD licensees, the workplace has an obligation to be clear about challenges to our state’s hashish legislation.

As a result of lively litigation, the workplace was blocked from recommending 4 Brooklyn CAURD candidates to the #NYCCB.

— NYS Workplace of Hashish Administration (@nys_cannabis) November 21, 2022

The OCM obtained greater than 900 CAURD retail purposes, and initially it was anticipated that the primary spherical can be as much as 175 retail permits awarded. It is unclear what number of retailers the state will in the end allow.

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What’s nonetheless unclear

Monday’s announcement got here with a number of regulatory adjustments as properly, a number of stakeholders mentioned, in addition to loads of still-unanswered questions for licensees, together with whether or not the state will meet its objective of launching leisure gross sales earlier than the tip of the yr.

As an illustration, a $200 million fund that is speculated to pay for a lot of social fairness retail areas wasn’t talked about in the course of the CCB’s Monday assembly, and whether or not the cash has even been absolutely raised is unclear, to not point out the standing of retailers the cash is meant to pay for.

“We’re simply now listening to who the winners of the design construct RFP had been, and so they, as of final week, hadn’t even gotten their areas assigned,” mentioned lawyer Lauren Rudick, who represents one of many retail license winners and 5 different candidates who’ve but to study whether or not they’ll be awarded permits.

“In a finest case state of affairs, a construct out is six to eight weeks. We’re reducing it type of shut, and that’s assuming all of the permits and approvals are in place,” Rudick mentioned.

As a result of the OCM launched up to date laws over the weekend, a number of stakeholders additionally mentioned they have not had time to completely learn and digest what’s within the materials.

However lawyer David Feder mentioned one of many largest pivots the OCM revealed Monday was a brand new allowance for retail licensees to launch leisure gross sales through supply in coming months.

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“They know that they’re not going to have the ability to get all of the dispensaries constructed out in time for this factor to be kicked off successfully by the tip of the yr, so what they’re doing is that they’re going to permit these licensees via supply,” Feder mentioned.

“It is enormous, enormous information,” he added, emphasizing that within the context of New York’s flourishing unlicensed hashish market, and not using a channel for authorized hashish gross sales, “Individuals are not going to be inspired to remain throughout the traces.”

Nonetheless, Feder mentioned, precisely how supply operations can be allowed and performed has additionally but to be decided. He famous that supply licenses and guidelines weren’t a part of Monday’s OCM bulletins.

There are additionally discussions occurring behind the scenes, Feder mentioned, as as to whether the OCM will sanction the so-called “ice cream truck mannequin” versus the “pizza store mannequin,” with the previous permitting vehicles to roam the streets whereas packed to the brim with hashish merchandise able to promote to any buyer who stops by, and the latter solely permitting supply drivers to depart a central hub with the exact stock to finish particular deliveries.

The ice cream truck mannequin, Feder mentioned, “might be one of the best ways to compete with the unregulated market,” however added that no one is aware of the place the OCM will come down on supply guidelines.

There could possibly be, as an illustration, hashish supply staff taking the subway or using bicycles round New York Metropolis to carry hashish to prospects, mentioned Jennifer Cabrera, one other trade lawyer.

Cabrera predicted that the OCM will hand out extra retail licenses at its subsequent assembly on Dec. 1, since that has been the company’s customary process for cultivators and processors.

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Cabrera and Feder additionally each mentioned they – and their shoppers who hope to win retail licenses – have their fingers crossed that the OCM walks again a brand new restriction for retailers that prohibits them from accepting funding cash from any particular person or firm that holds possession stakes in any hashish cultivation or manufacturing operation anyplace on this planet.

“With a view to elevate cash, you’re restricted to a really small pool of firms throughout the nation, and most of them are concerned in a single vertical or one other,” Cabrera mentioned, including that the present guidelines “makes it nearly unattainable for license candidates to boost cash.”

Rudick mentioned she would total wish to see extra transparency from the OCM and ticked off a laundry record of coverage questions she has, together with on the long run licensing timeline.

Rudick mentioned that at this level, there are nonetheless extra questions than solutions for hopeful hashish licensees.

“With out a timeline, all we’re doing is favoring the extra capitalized gamers that may afford to attend,” Rudick mentioned.

The one certainty, Rudick mentioned, is extra change.

“That is dynamic, it’s transferring shortly, it’s simply influenced at this stage,” she mentioned. “They’re transferring in direction of an aggressive timeline to be open and operational.”

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