State to Begin Accepting Retail Applications Next Week

On August 25, New York State cannabis officials will begin accepting applications for the state’s first adult-use retailer licenses, reserved for people impacted by the drug war.

The application will be available online at the New York State Business Express site. The application period for this license type will close one month later, on September 26.

To qualify for a conditional adult-use marijuana retail license, applicants must have been convicted of a cannabis-related offense prior to the enactment of the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) last March or have a direct relative with a conviction. They must also have experience operating a business.

“The definition of a qualifying ‘justice-involved’ individual was expanded a month ago to include people who were arrested for marijuana but convicted for a lesser offense, notes the newsletter, Marijuana Moment. “Advocates view it as a positive step that will broaden the applicant pool.”

The state hopes that the first retail locations will open before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, on August 15, the state approved the first 15 adult-use conditional processor licenses. Now, growers can turn cannabis plants into products – edibles, vape cartridges, and oils – that can be sold at New York’s first retail dispensaries.

Among the companies that received licenses are at least two that were previously licensed as conditional cultivators: Glenna & Co. in Monroe County, owned by Glenna Colaprete-Hudson; and NYHO Labs Inc. in Cortland County, owned by Allan Gandelman. Both were featured in FLX420’s inaugural issue this April. Glenna serves on the Rochester Cannabis Coalition Committee and on the New York State Cannabis Growers and Processors (NYCGPA) Committee on Social Equity Education, Retail and Sustainability. Allan is president of NYCGPA.

Some who are waiting to apply for licenses in the cannabis industry – legacy growers in particular – question the equity of awarding multiple licenses to the same companies.

Also on August 15, the Cannabis Control Board approved regulations for cannabis labs across New York. The rules are designed to ensure that cannabis products sold in the state do not contain pesticides, heavy metals or other adulterations.

“New Yorkers should know that while we’re moving quickly to get this industry off the ground, we’re making sure that it will deliver products they can trust,” said Chris Alexander, executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management.

Additionally, the board approved 19 more adult-use conditional cultivators, bringing the number of farms in the state that are licensed to grow adult-use cannabis to 242.

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