New York Cannabis: Portal for Adult-Use License Applications Opens October 4th!

The wait is (almost) over! During the September 12, 2023 Cannabis Control Board (CCB) meeting, the CCB announced that New York’s full, adult-use cannabis license application portal will open on October 4, 2023. The CCB meeting covered a number of other important topics, but we’ll save those for another post. For anyone planning on applying for an adult-use license, here are the important things to know about the application process:

The application portal is “planned” to open on October 4, 2023 at 8am and will be open until December 4, 2023 at 5 pm. New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) plans to accept adult-use cannabis license applications for the following license types:

Cultivators;
Processors;
Distributors;
Microbusinesses; and
Retail Dispensaries.

The OCM will review and approve retail dispensary and microbusiness applicants with a proposed location secured by November 3, 2023 at 5 pm. It is unclear how exactly the staged review will work (particularly in the context of the required notification to municipality) but we expect the timing to be addressed as part of the OCM’s subsequent FAQs. As a reminder, applicants no longer need to have a location secured prior to applying.
The implication is that the OCM will be reviewing applications all at once (i.e., not on a rolling basis), but we assume application review will be addressed as part of the OCM’s FAQs.
The OCM released this application mock-up, which lays out what the actual application looks like. It is very similar to the CAURD application, but includes a separate social and economic equity application.
Within the application, there is a separate Social and Economic Equity certification that will be available (and come with a 50% reduction in application and licensing fees) if the applicant qualifies under the below categories:

individuals from a community disproportionality impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition;
woman-owned businesses;
minority-owned business;
service-disabled veteran-owned businesses; and
distressed farmers.

This is the huge step New York has been waiting for since the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act was passed back in April of 2021. The next few weeks will likely include deluge of additional information, including OCM FAQs that clarify ambiguity in the application forms and process, including any required forms for applicants (such as the Notification to Municipality and True Parties in Interest forms).

Stay tuned! And if you are interested in pursuing a New York adult-use cannabis license application of any kind, please reach out to the our local cannabis business lawyers.

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