In the News: License Applications to Open to Wider Audience Oct. 4

On Sept. 12, the New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) approved revised adult-use regulations from the NY Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). The board’s decision marks the largest expansion of the state’s legal cannabis market since it opened in 2021. It also highlights ongoing challenges.

The state’s general license application will be open to dispensaries, cultivators, processors, distributors and micro-businesses in just two weeks, starting on October 4.

Adult-use conditional cultivators (AUCCs) and conditional processors in good standing will be able to apply for full, non-conditional licenses.

Currently, the OCM has approved 463 conditional adult-use retail dispensaries (CAURDs) since late last year; of those, only 23 CAURD businesses are operational while the rest remain in limbo due to an ongoing injunction. The future of the CAURD program is uncertain.

The injunction, which went into effect on August 8, came after a group of New York veterans sued Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration. The plaintiffs challenged the legality of the CAURD program, stating the state favors convicted drug felons over disabled vets when awarding CAURD licenses.

The expansion also affects the medical and research fields. The OCM announced the Registered Organization (RO) application will also be available for viewing. The application expands access to medical cannabis. Meanwhile, the CCB greenlit Cannabis Research License Applications to produce, process, purchase or possess cannabis for limited research purposes.

Licensed cultivators, processors and retailers are concerned that medical operators will force out smaller farms and businesses to make way for large corporations, according to Spectrum News 1. In a September 12 news release, the OCM stated the “the law also established a two-tier system, which prevents licensees on the supply side of the market from having more than a minimal financial interest in businesses on the retail side of the market.”

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