Though there’s still no set date for the first day of legal adult-use cannabis sales, the state’s latest cannabis board meeting revealed that delivery and nonprofit stores could shorten the wait.
The New York Office of Cannabis Management’s latest advisory board meeting went down December 1, with the stated deadline of New Year’s looming.
Last month, 36 operators, including eight nonprofits and 28 justice involved individuals, were awarded the first round of licenses to operate dispensaries. While nonprofits may use their own pre-established location, the other 28 licensees must wait for the state to assign them a physical retail space.
Delivery is coming soon
Newly-licensed dispensaries will be able to conduct sales via delivery while they establish their new storefronts, provided the licensees follow the regulations outlined by the OCM, announced Executive Director Chris Alexander at the meeting.
Alexander added that regulations for consumption spaces or delivery-only businesses still have not been finalized, emphasizing that delivery is the best temporary solution to get the new stores up and running while brick and mortar stores are prepared.
New regulation to protect New York dispensaries
Director of Policy John Kagia also announced updated industry regulations, which include protections for cannabis businesses from municipalities that may want to undermine them before they’ve even opened.
Kagia stated that while local municipalities may submit their opinions for allowing a cannabis dispensary to operate in their jurisdiction, they “can’t create special rules” specifically for weed businesses, such as cannabis-only fees, or requiring the state minimum of 70 hours of operation per week.
“This will help protect our licensees from local laws that could make it more difficult for them to be successful and even more difficult to effectively run a cannabis business.”
John Kagia, OCM Director of Policy
State announces new equity mentorship program
Additionally, Damian Fagon, the OCM’s chief equity officer, announced that 250 applicants had been selected for the state’s equity mentorship program, which was designed to help impacted applicants prepare to enter the market.
The program is slated to start mid-January 2023, and consists of a “10-week webinar series aimed at growing and diversifying the pipeline of farmers and processors in the market.”
More updates from New York
- The meeting did not address the state’s recent change in cannabis testing regulations that now allow higher acceptable levels of certain molds, bacteria and pesticides in regulated products.
A report released this week also found that many illicit shops claiming to have licensed and tested products could be selling weed and vapes that are tainted with E. coli, mold, and pesticides.
- On November 21, the 36 first adult-use dispensary licenses went to business owners with New York cannabis convictions and nonprofits. The first approved stores are expected to open within the next three weeks.