New York Issues First Adult-Use Cannabis Cultivation Licenses


Yesterday, April 14, 2022 marked a historic event for New York’s adult-use cannabis industry: during the eighth Cannabis Control Board (CCB) meeting, the CCB issued the first adult-use cannabis licenses. The licenses: 52 conditional adult-use cultivation licenses based on the conditional license type rolled out by the CCB and Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) earlier this year.

Beyond the fact that this is a significant event simply because there are licensed commercial adult-use cannabis activities in New York for the first time, the issuance of these licenses means that New York may have product ready for dispensary sales in 2022 (assuming there are licensed dispensaries this year). A significant motivation for getting these licenses out so quickly was to allow cultivators the opportunity to grow during the current grow cycle.

As a brief refresher on how we got here, the CCB opened the conditional adult-use cultivator application portal on March 15, 2022. To date, 150 applications have been received and, as of March 31, 2022, the OCM completed its review and recommended 52 licenses be awarded. Which is not to say the OCM and CCB are done issuing conditional adult-use cultivator licenses: they will continue reviewing applications on a rolling basis and the application window is open until June 30, 2022.

The CCB also addressed its consideration of the revised regulations for medical home cultivation. The initial regulations were released on November 17, 2021 and the CCB received 160 comments, which resulted in the revised proposed regulations that are now subject to a 45 day public comment period from publication. The proposed changes:

  • updated definitions to clarify that outdoor cultivation is permitted
  • revised storage and security requirements
  • clarification of designated caregiver plant limits
  • provisions for the sale of medical cannabis seeds and immature plants for home cultivation entities licensed or registered by the OCM

A very important note: home cultivation is not permitted until the final regulations are approved.

All in all, yesterday was significant. For the first time ever, New York has legal commercial adult-use cannabis activities. Stay tuned as things (quickly) develop in New York’s adult-use cannabis industry!

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