Written By: Leticia Maskell, Emerge Summer Clerk
On July 19 the New York State Cannabis Control Board held its monthly meeting, which covered several items likely to have a major effect on the state’s nascent cannabis industry. Emerge’s own Duncan Delano and Stephanie Algarin Santiago attended and shared the following key points:
1) 212 Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (“CAURD”) Licenses Approved
The Board approved Resolution No. 2023-24, granting Provisional CAURD licenses to 212 prospective retailers and expanding the total number of provisional adult-use retail licenses to 463. The conversion of conditional- to adult-use retail licenses is expected to begin once regulations are finalized in the fall. However, many stakeholders expressed concerns that the additional licenses would not immediately lead to increased retail sales due to funding challenges and shortage of useable properties for retailer storefronts. This retail bottleneck has led to a surplus of flower and other cannabis products with no sales outlet.
2) Cannabis Growers Showcases to Move Forward
The Board approved an initiative authorizing further planning and organization of growers showcases – events where licensed cannabis cultivators can display and sell their products to offset the retailer bottleneck described above. The Board continues to work on details for the events including the maximum amount of processed products vs. flower that licensees can sell at such events.
3) Public Comment Open for Proposed Amendments to Medical Cannabis Regulations
The Board opened a 60-day public comment period for proposed medical cannabis regulation amendments. The amendments include revisions to lab testing requirements, the ability for dispensary pharmacists to dispense cannabis in bulk, increased medical cannabis worker health and safety standards, and updated packaging and labeling regulations, among other things. To submit comments in response to draft regulations please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) Emergency Regulations Passed to Restrict Intoxicating Hemp Products
- Establish a minimum CBD-THC ratio of 15-to-1;
- Limit the amount of total THC allowed in certain hemp products; and
- Prohibit sales of products containing over 0.5mg total THC to individuals under 21.
5) Executive Director Report: Enforcement Update
To date, there are 20 retailers open in New York State, and 40+ retail operations in development. Retailers reported $11M in sales in June, a 50% increase over May.
Regulatory inspections of unlicensed cannabis businesses began in June. Thus far, 53 inspections targeted 25 illegal stores, and regulators have seized $11M worth of product.
The New York Office of Cannabis Management (“OCM”) announced the launch of their Retail Integrated System Expansion (RISE) strategy to expand access to legal retail cannabis. Key strategy components include:
- Issuing more CAURD licensees;
- Expanding consumer access to products and connecting licensed producers to licensed retailers;
- Addressing business siting challenges and facilitating statewide ;
- Creating opportunities to research consumer and industrial cannabis applications;
- Increasing enforcement against illegal operators; and
- Communicating the benefits of a legal market and the risks of illicit cannabis to the public.
The Director also announced a new timeline for . OCM expects to finalize regulations in September 2024, and to begin accepting applications October 2024.