NY Push Recreational Marijuana Sales Into 2023 Following Licensing Issuance Is Delayed

NY Push Recreational Marijuana Sales Into 2023 Following Licensing Issuance Is Delayed

New York won’t have legal weed for sale before 2022 ends. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, the Office Of Cannabis Management pushed back the launch of recreational cannabis in New York until mid-2023.

Chris Alexander, New York’s Office of Cannabis Management’s executive director, attended an event in New York on the day Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Licenses opened the gates for applicants. An audience member asked Alexander about growing and processing cannabis for licensed businesses for retail sale. Alexander explained that only a handful of companies have jurisdiction to cultivate cannabis right now, while others will have to wait until the “middle of next year.” Alexander explained that regulations would emerge before 2022 ends, but applicants for cultivation and processing would have to wait before moving forward with any cannabis-related business activities.

At this point, the OCM has not shared a concrete timeline on its new plans, but it contradicts previous claims. They previously said that a cannabis market in New York would launch within 18 months of October 2021 while initially setting the finalizations of regulations for early spring of this year. Conditional cultivation and processing licenses became available in April and August, respectively, but it was only last week when a 30-day application period for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary began. At this point, the Cannabis Control Board approved 15 conditional processing licenses and 242 conditional cultivator licenses that fit specific criteria.

Ultimately, the delays are creating considerable delays in the cannabis industry, with many operators panicking following the announcement. The conditional cultivation license strains the sector since it limits the supply of cannabis to sell across New York state. Additionally, it creates a concern for investors, many of which left in the dark about the future of the state’s cannabis market. Some businesses have secured real estate for their cannabis businesses. However, this burdens the owners, who ultimately have to pay out of pocket to prevent storefronts from shutting down before they can even open their doors to the public. 

The best way for the state’s cannabis authorities to remedy this situation is by creating pre-qualifications that make the application process more manageable. It’s worked in places like Michigan, which has a thriving cannabis industry. Hopefully, authorities could apply this throughout New York’s cannabis industry to give businesses a sense of security until OCM finalizes regulations.

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