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Friday, September 29, 2023

Cannabis sales in New York: an update

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The New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) provided an update on the timing of sales for adult use: still in 2022! As reported by Spectrum News 1On Friday, October 7, 2022, OCM CEO Chris Alexander announced that: (i) the crops of the Conditional Cultivators will be ready for sale by the end of the year; and (2) dispensaries will open in 2022. The article also noted that New York Gov. Cathy Hochhol announced that the 2022 schedule remains on track, with “20 dispensaries available online per month after the initial launch.”

Despite OCM’s optimism about starting sales, the article dropped another nugget that raises questions about the timeline: “The state’s boarding house authority continues to visit sites and negotiate with landlords about potential retail space.” OCM CEO Alexander was quoted as saying: “We can’t be more specific than that. However, it will be a rolling wave. We will make them stay online as they continue to be secured and built.”

Reading between the lines, OCM’s comments indicate that the University Housing Authority (DASNY) has not yet secured any Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) locations yet. We want to jump on the optimism bandwagonbut getting design plans, permits, materials and actually building retail locations in less than 3 months seems difficult, and even more so if leases have not yet been signed.

With the CAURD application portal closed (903 apps!) and a few weeks break at Cannabis Oversight Board meetings, we expect to see developments over the next few weeks, particularly given that OCM Director Chris Alexander has indicated that adult use rules and regulations should come out this month (or next). But for now, we just have to hope that New York’s timeline for beginning sales of adult use matches its optimism. Stay tuned!


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