Thinking about applying for a cannabis license in NY? Missed the Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) application window? Not to worry! The State of New York will soon open its general cannabis business application window! And what’s better, the CAURD round gave us a glimpse into what New York will be expecting when it comes time to open the general license round. The New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) is currently waiting for the public comment period to end before they can institute any form of regulations. While there’s a chance February will see finalized regulations, it’s more likely a second round of public comment will be needed, leaving regulations to be finalized sometime this summer.
The OCM recently hosted a Regulations 101 Seminar and we pulled together a list of 6 items the OCM wants you to know for your application for a cannabis license in NY!
BUILD YOUR CANNABIS FACILITY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT PLAN.
There will be a major emphasis for applicant’s to minimize their environmental impact in all respects of their cannabis businesses. This is something we have seen before in multiple states and are well prepared to help you compile. You’ll need to provide the State with examples of systems and processes you will implement to minimize your carbon footprint and your environmental impact. This impacts many aspects of your operation, from cannabis facility buildout to employee training.
THERE WILL BE PRIORITY GRADING.
The New York OCM has emphasized its desire to prioritize the grading of certain types of applications. We know that social and economic equity applicants will get priority grading, as the State of New York has provided a goal of awarding 50% of all licenses to social and economic equity applicants. However, based on our ample experience in providing comprehensive cannabis licensing consulting in almost every other regulated state in the country, we know that this priority grading often expands into other licensing groups, such as woman-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and more.
YOU WILL PAY A FEE TO APPLY.
As is the case with other states, New York is implementing a $2,000 application fee. The State may finalize certain fee discounts for particular groups, such as social equity applications. However, for now, we know that the state cannabis application fees are $2,000 and they are non-refundable.
THERE IS A TWO YEAR EXPIRATION DATE ON YOUR CANNABIS LICENSE.
Once you are issued a license, you will not have to begin your renewal process a year from that time. Uniquely, the State of New York has issued a two year expiration date from the date of cannabis business license issuance. The OCM is still outlining its application renewal process, but it typically includes a review of your facility, cannabis standard operating procedures (SOPs), and requires a fee.
OWNERSHIP CHANGES MUST BE REPORTED.
As is common in other states’ cannabis licensing programs, the New York OCM has already indicated that any and all changes in ownership must be reported to the OCM, once a license has been awarded. Oftentimes, this is done so that a state’s cannabis regulatory committee or department can have stringent oversight over who or what entity is involved in your cannabis business. The State’s goal is to be able to perform a background check on all individuals associated with cannabis businesses. All owners will be required to disclose information about themselves and undergo criminal background checks. They will also be required to abide by ownership restrictions, to avoid conflicts of interest or violations of New York State cannabis regulations.
COMMUNITIES ARE RAPIDLY CHANGING THEIR CANNABIS ORDINANCES.
This is great news, because even if your community has currently opted-out of approving cannabis businesses in their municipality, they could opt back in at any time. Our team has significant experience in supporting municipalities as they determine how they want to be involved with cannabis businesses. Sometimes municipalities are unsure about whether to permit a cannabis dispensary in their neighborhood, but may be open to a cannabis cultivation facility or cannabis manufacturing facility. In other situations, we teach communities about the benefits of cannabis businesses in their neighborhoods. Work hard now to get local approvals for your cannabis business and you will be far ahead of your competition.
While we wait for more updates, TWO New York CAURD licensed locations are now open for business! The very first is Housing Works Cannabis Co. located in Manhattan, which opened in the last days of 2022. The second, Smacked Village, the very first NY cannabis Dispensary owned by a justice-involved individual, opened in NYC this past week. It’s exciting to see things moving in New York and Canna Business Services is here to help you with any questions be it regulations, applications, or licensing in general.
Check out our other blogs to learn more about the cannabis industry in general or more about a cannabis license in NY or New York State Updates!
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