A few weeks back we provided an update on the timing of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and Cannabis Control Board (CCB) opening the general adult-use cannabis licensing portal, with an anticipated start of application review in the fall of 2023. We based our estimate on the OCM and CCB’s review of the public comments that were submitted with respect to the proposed adult-use cannabis rules and regulations. Well, on March 22, 2023, Green Market Report (via John Schroyer) released a comprehensive and wide-ranging interview with OCM’s Chief and Staff and Senior Policy Director Axel Bernabe, in which Bernabe confirmed that the OCM anticipates opening the portal in the fall of 2023.
Here’s the relevant question and answer:
“What’s the timeframe for when New York industry regulations will be finalized and done?
The regulations that we filed for public comment, we’re really trying to get them done by our May 11 board meeting. If we get it done by then, we should be able to file final regs by the end of August. Then we can start opening the general application period within a couple months of that.
These are all tentative dates, but in the fall, after Labor Day, that’s when we can start to award more dispensaries.
But it’s not like we’re going be able to review a thousand (applicants) because we’re also having to review the growers and the distributors and all these other licenses (simultaneously). That’s the biggest obstacle, is just the time it takes to review everybody.
It allows for a phased rollout to a certain extent, so we don’t have a thousand people all looking for dispensaries at the same time. We have like 100, and then another 100, and then a couple months later, another 100. Then you don’t have 500 people descending on a county and all scrambling and fighting for space and bidding up the price.”
Schroyer and Bernabe cover a lot of important topics throughout the interview and we strongly encourage anyone interested in applying for an adult-use cannabis license in New York to read the whole thing. Even in this single answer, there’s a lot to unpack:
- We can (hopefully) expect to see the final adult-use rules and regulations by May 11, 2023, which gives a comfortable runway for compiling the comprehensive application materials.
- Application review will likely be rolling, which means that applications will be reviewed as they come in (something we already knew, but is now confirmed).
- Applications for different license types will likely be reviewed at the same time.
It is interesting to note that Schroyer’s interview of Bernabe was released just a week after the lawsuit demanding that the OCM and CCB immediately open the application portal. We’ll see if or how that litigation impacts the OCM and CCB’s plans, but at least we now have a likely outside date for New York’s adult-use cannabis license application portal to open. Stay tuned!