By C. Neil Gray
On August 15, 2022, the New York Cannabis Control Board (the Board) held a public meeting via real-time stream to consider a number of agenda items. Among the most notable of the topics taken up was the approval of conditional adult use cultivator licenses and conditional adult use processor licenses.
Chair Tremaine Wright opened the meeting by providing an update on the Seeding Opportunity Initiative (SOI) that was launched in Spring 2022. Through the SOI, the Board has granted 223 adult use conditional cultivator licenses, resulting in the first farms cultivating regulated adult use cannabis in New York State. Chair Wright also noted that the Board visited three of these farms in July and were encouraged by the progress and creativity demonstrated in such a short window of time. After some additional opening remarks, the Board moved on to “further steps to advance the Seeding Opportunity Initiative” to “continue to build out New York’s Adult Use Cannabis supply chain.”
Upon motion, the Board took up the consideration of 19 proposed additional adult use conditional cultivator (AUCC) licenses. Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management, again referenced the tour of some of the small farming operations, noted the “outstanding product that’s about to come online for New York,” and praised the additional 19 applications for cultivators that are “ready to grow and participate in the market that we’re building here in New York.” The Board unanimously approved the 19 additional AUCC licenses.
Next, the Board took up the consideration of 15 proposed adult use conditional processor (AUCP) licenses. Alexander highlighted the processors as “an important link . . . between New York’s small farmers who are currently growing adult use cannabis and the business owners with a cannabis conviction or their family members who will set up the adult use retail dispensaries later this year.” The licenses will allow processors to take what the cultivators are growing and create a number of products, ranging from edibles to tinctures, and to get them to retailers. The Board approved the 15 AUCP licenses. Alexander noted in his report during the meeting that the application window for the Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license will open on August 25, 2022.
The Board also considered and approved the appointment of John Kagia as the Director of Policy for the Office of Cannabis Management. Kagia was commended by Alexander for his role in the cannabis industry and as “somebody who understands where New York’s market will be in the larger landscape of the cannabis industry and the opportunity we have here to build a model market.”
The Board took up other issues, including the consideration and approval of emergency cannabis laboratory testing regulations aimed at ensuring that the products made from cannabis grown in New York will be tested to a regulatory standard and protecting the health of consumers in New York, and launching an application window for laboratories that seek to conduct testing for medical and adult use cannabis and sampling firms that want to collect samples.
A video recording and transcript of the meeting, along with supporting materials, are available here.