On July 14, 2022 the New York Cannabis Control Board (the “Board”) met to consider a variety of topics. Most importantly, the Board approved the Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Regulations and the online application for a retail dispensary license.
The initial focus of the meeting was on the approval of proposed Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Regulations. (Generally referred to in the meeting as the “CAURD Regulations”.) The Senior Policy Director of the New York Office of Cannabis Management noted that the CAURD Regulations were designed to provide retail dispensary licenses to applicants who met two eligibility requirements. First, the applicant (or family member) must have had a cannabis related legal offense that occurred prior to the passage of the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act on March 31, 2021. Second, the applicant must have experience owning and operating a qualifying business. The Board unanimously approved the CAURD Regulations. The Senior Policy Director also provided a form of online application for a retail dispensary license. This sample form fleshes out the CAURD Regulations. The Board unanimously approved the sample form of application. The Board also ordered that a new application period for adult-use retail dispensaries licenses open and close on dates established by the Office of Cannabis Management. The Board did not indicate when the actual application would be made available for filing but notice of the application window must be posted on the Office of Cannabis Management’s website no less than 14 days before the application window opens and the application window must last at least 30 days.
Next, the Board approved 20 additional Conditional Cultivator applications. As a result of the Board’s approval, 223 Conditional Cultivator licenses have now been issued in New York, providing sufficient cannabis supply for recreational users once retail dispensaries open toward the end of 2022.
The Board then considered the previously proposed Medical Cannabis Program Regulations (the “Medical Regulations”). The Board heard from the Director of Health and Safety, who stated that after taking into account public comments, her office had concluded that the existing proposed Medical Regulations are insufficient in various respects including inconsistencies in packaging with the general adult-use regulations. Jen Metzger, one of the members of the Board, also noted the failure of the previously proposed Medical Regulations to include environmental provisions. The Director of Health and Safety stated that the regulations have been modified and proposed that the Medical Regulations, as modified, should be republished in the New York State Register and start a new 45-day public comment period. The Board voted to approve the submission of the regulations for a new public comment period.
The Board then reviewed the various programs to advise potential licensees on the benefits of the new CAURD Regulations and application form. The Board noted that under the New York Seeding Opportunity Initiative there would be financial aid and expertise for establishing recreational retail dispensaries.
Lastly, the Board acknowledged the assistance it had received from the new Cannabis Advisory Board and acknowledged that the newly-organized Cannabis Advisory Board would be in charge of certain block grants and other functions. However, the Chair of the Board noted that while the Cannabis Advisory Board would have the opportunity to consult with the Board on regulations during the public comment period, the final decision on the content and issuance of regulations would be made by the Board.