Legal Blog

CannaBlast: First Dispensary Licenses Issued in New York

Last week was a busy one for New York’s Office of Cannabis Management and Cannabis Control Board (“CCB”).

Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Licenses. The CCB issued the first provisional dispensary licenses to 28 “justice-involved” applicants (i.e., applicants who have, or whose family has, convictions for certain marijuana-related crimes in New York) out of 150 anticipated to be awarded. The CCB also awarded provisional licenses to eight non-profits serving communities that suffered under the war on drugs and approved several additional conditional cultivator, conditional processor, and cannabis laboratory licenses.

The provisional adult-use retail dispensary licensees must now complete their applications by providing business plans and detailed information regarding finances and ownership to receive full conditional operating licenses; they must also acquire sites for the dispensaries and build out spaces. However, once the full conditional licenses are awarded, the licensees may start deliveries in advance of opening brick-and-mortar stores.

New Regulations. The CCB released the long-awaited proposed regulations governing the general application, licensing, and operation of adult-use cannabis businesses in New York. The regulations, which run to 282 pages, cover nurseries, cultivators, processors, distributors, retail dispensaries, cooperatives, microbusinesses, and retail dispensaries, as well as medical marijuana dispensaries looking to expand into the adult-use market. Still to come are regulations for consumption lounges and free-standing delivery services.

In addition, the CCB refiled revised proposed regulations for the packaging, labeling, marketing, and advertising of cannabis products, and for the licensing and operation of cannabis laboratories. Cannabis laboratories are currently operating under temporary emergency regulations, to enable the testing of this year’s first legal crop of adult-use cannabis.

New regulations are published in the state’s official register and subject to a 60-day comment period, followed by possible revisions of the regulations, refiling of revised regulations for an additional 45-day comment period, possible additional revisions, and then promulgation of the final regulations. Doing the math, it is unlikely the final regulations will be issued before the end of the first quarter of 2023, with an application window opening thereafter.

The comment period gives an opportunity to influence the shape of the final regulations, and many comments are anticipated. There is also ongoing litigation challenging some of the licensing requirements, and there is an injunction in place barring the award of the conditional retail dispensary licenses in some portions of New York state. We will continue to follow these developments closely and provide updates as needed.

For more information on adult-use cannabis, visit www.cannabis.ny.gov/adult-use. If you would like to schedule a call to discuss the regulations or license applications, please contact Jonathan S. Berck at jonathan.berck@offitkurman.com.

ABOUT JONATHAN S. BERCK

Professional Headshot of Attorney Jonathan Berckjonathan.berck@offitkurman.com | 914.461.1634

Jonathan S. Berck is a Principal attorney in the firm’s Business Law and Transactions practice group. Mr. Berck maintains a general corporate practice, with emphasis on domestic and international business transactions, counseling and formation of small and medium businesses, business succession planning and commercial real estate. He regularly represents and advises his clients in matters concerning domestic and international agreements, mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, project finance and captive insurance companies. Mr. Berck is also a member of Offit Kurman’s Cannabis Law group, where he represents clients throughout New York and the nation. He also frequently writes and speaks on cannabis law topics.

 

 

ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN

Offit Kurman, one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the United States, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. With 19 offices and more than 280 lawyers who counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice, Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration. For more information, visit www.offitkurman.com.

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