New York’s cannabis regulator approved more than 200 additional retail pharmacy licenses this week, adopting new rules that allow cannabis growers to sell directly to consumers at farmers’ markets. The New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and Cannabis Control Office (OCM) characterized the move as “a bold move to rapidly grow the state’s legal cannabis market,” and announced the move Wednesday in an effort to strengthen the state’s licensed cannabis operators.
At its July 19 meeting, the board approved a further 212 conditional adult retail pharmacy (CAURD) licenses, bringing the total issued to 463. Under an initiative led by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, the state’s first retail cannabis license is limited to “nonprofit organizations whose services include assistance to individuals or former inmates most impacted by the unjust enforcement of the ban.”
“Today’s provisional approval of 212 CAURD licenses by the Cannabis Control Board marks a significant step forward in our pursuit of an inclusive and fair cannabis industry,” Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Tremaine Wright said in a statement from OCM on Wednesday. “These licensees demonstrate the innovation and diversity of New York State.”
The Board said it will continue to consider additional CAURD license applications. To be eligible for a CAURD license, applicants were required, among other conditions, to have had a marijuana conviction or be a family member of a marijuana convicted person. Non-profit organizations with a history of providing services to persons who were previously incarcerated or who are currently incarcerated were eligible to apply for a CAURD license.
Nearly 500 CAURD licenses have now been issued, but only 20 retail pharmacies are still open and servicing customers. The first store will open at the end of 2022, fulfilling Ho Chul’s promise to launch a regulated cannabis market by the end of the year. But since then, only 19 new pharmacies have opened, the most recent of which opened in Buffalo on Tuesday.
Board Approves Cannabis Farmers Market
The slow rollout of retail pharmacies has left New York’s cannabis growers with an overabundance of regulated cannabis, allowing an illegal market to thrive. To help licensed growers, the CCB also approved new rules on Wednesday allowing farmers’ markets, known as Cannabis Grower Showcases (CGS). Under the initiative, growers will be conditionally permitted to partner with adult cannabis retailers and processors to host events that showcase New York brands and sell adult cannabis products to consumers.
OCM’s chief capital officer, Damien Feigon, said his experience as a former New York cannabis farmer has taught him first-hand “how tragic it can be to have your hard-earned crop struggle to get to market.”
“The Cannabis Producer Showcase was informed by those lived experiences and, of course, many difficult conversations with growers and processors who wanted more avenues to share their products with New Yorkers,” Feigon said. “This initiative will not only increase sales and retail access statewide, but it will also connect New York consumers directly with local cannabis farmers and homegrown brands.”
Under the initiative, each CGS event will feature at least three licensed growers who partner with licensed pharmacies for adults to sell regulated cannabis products to consumers. CGS events are only permitted in cities and towns where retail cannabis sales are permitted and the majority of the population must be adults. Only New Yorkers over the age of 21 will be allowed to purchase cannabis and cannabis products.
Additionally, one processor for every three growers will be able to sell cannabis products such as edibles, beverages and e-cigarette cartridges. To ensure compliance and regulatory compliance, CGS participants are required to obtain local government approval unless the event is held at a licensed retail pharmacy where cannabis sales typically take place.
Michelle Bodian, partner at leading cannabis and psychedelics law firm Vicente LLP, welcomed the new licenses and rules allowing cannabis farmers’ markets. But she isn’t sure the move will be enough to secure the success of New York’s regulated cannabis market.
“More licenses and more sales opportunities are a great idea, but until we see the details, it is unclear whether these actions alone will be enough to move the licensed cannabis industry forward,” Bodian wrote in an email. high times. “These opportunities are also temporary, and each stage of the supply chain requires permanent solutions to ensure consistent cash flow for expected profitability.”