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New York Expanding Legal Cannabis Market


New York is expanding its legal cannabis market. The State Cannabis Control Board on Tuesday finalized regulations for the adult-use cannabis market. The move officially opens general licensing, allowing individuals and small businesses across the state to apply for licenses beginning October 4th. Up until now only people with prior marijuana convictions could apply for pot shop license.

“Today marks the most significant expansion of New York’s legal cannabis market since legalization, and we’ve taken a massive step towards reaching our goal of having New Yorkers being able access safer, regulated cannabis across the state. We are immensely proud to be building the fairest, most competitive cannabis industry in the nation — one that puts those most harmed by prohibition first and offers a true opportunity for all New Yorkers — not just large corporations — to compete and thrive,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. “The regulations finalized today are the result of robust engagement with stakeholders across the State who submitted thousands of comments. This final package truly represents the values of equity and competition that we believe are central to this market. I want to especially thank Governor Hochul for her leadership, the Board for their collaboration, the Legislature for their vision, and our advocacy partners for their commitment to this mission.”

In addition, to ensure that individuals and small businesses have real opportunity to compete and thrive in New York’s cannabis market, the law also established a two-tier system, which prevents licensees on the supply side of the market from having more than a minimal financial interest in businesses on the retail side of the market. The regulations finalized today provide a clearer and more robust framework for how OCM is to implement these provisions of the MRTA. 

The Cannabis Association of New York released the following statement:

“Today’s Cannabis Control Board meeting opened the door for big cannabis to come in and compete with New York-based businesses. But the Cannabis Association of New York has always been at the forefront with solutions during the cannabis rollout, and today is no different. For New York to protect locally-based small businesses, the following steps must be taken. One, reform the potency tax, as this disproportionately harms small businesses. Two, regulations must be immediately fixed. This includes giving the ROs and small, locally-based cultivators and processors equal limits of canopy space. Three, prioritize the enforcement of illegal operators – instead of coming down on legal, small businesses with more endless red tape.”

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