The state will allow its first cannabis stores to fulfill orders through delivery while gradually introducing brick-and-mortar shops.
Many of New York’s first legal weed dispensaries will serve customers via delivery, not storefronts, when adult-use sales begin tentatively at the end this month. On Friday, December 9, New York’s Office of Cannabis Management shared guidelines for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license winners who plan to utilize delivery.
All CAURD license winners can seek approval from the Office of Cannabis Management to begin delivery to customers. The delivery option should jumpstart the market, “with a model that will help them compete while providing options to licensee-entrepreneurs as they build new adult-use cannabis businesses,” according to an OCM release.
“By jump-starting sales with delivery, we’re giving this first group of licensees the opportunity to develop and grow their businesses while providing New York’s cannabis consumers with tested products they can trust, protecting public health and keeping cannabis away from those under 21 years old,” Chris Alexander, the OCM’s executive director, said in a statement last week. “We look forward to getting sales up and running before the end of the year and meeting consumers where they are.”
Here’s what New York’s weed delivery laws will allow
Last week, Alexander said at a public meeting that delivery is the best temporary solution to get the new stores up and running while brick and mortar stores are prepared. The temporary delivery authorization will apply to all retail dispensary licensees. All delivery operations will be subject to public health and safety regulations.
The Office of Cannabis Management shared the following guidance with Leafly via email:
- Retail licensees to secure a warehouse from which to fulfill delivery orders while building permanent dispensary locations for up to one year.
- Customers to place online/phone orders only; no in-person sales or pick-up from the warehouse location.
- Customers to make online pre-payments only; no cash payments from cannabis consumer to delivery employee
- Delivery to be made by bicycles, scooters or other similar methods of transportation as well as motor-vehicles
- Delivery to consumers 21+ in New York, with ID verification upon sale and delivery
- Up to (25) delivery staff per business, per requirements in the New York Cannabis law
Physical storefronts are coming soon
In November, the Cannabis Control Board awarded preliminary approval to the state’s first 36 Adult-Use Retail Dispensary licensees. 28 of those licenses went to qualifying businesses, and 8 of those provisional licenses went to eligible non-profits. While the 28 new businesses will have to wait to open physical doors, some of the non-profits already have locations. They may be the only physical stores that are open before 2022 ends.
The Office of Cannabis Management also told provisional CAURD licensees that they can submit their desired retail location for approval. Qualifying licenses will receive financial support for renovations from the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund operated by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). DASNY will help licensees locate and build out their stores as CAURD licenses are released on a rolling basis through 2022.