New York’s Adult-Use Market Set to Move Forward on Hundreds of Licenses
- Hundreds of licensees will be allowed to open adult-use cannabis stores in New York following the settlement of two lawsuits.
- The settlement establishes a timeline for the transition of registered organizations (medical operators) to adult-use cannabis licenses.
- Five medical cannabis companies involved in the lawsuit will be permitted to start selling recreational marijuana in December, with further expansions allowed in June 2024.
- Additionally, four service-disabled veterans will receive a license to operate an adult-use cannabis retail dispensary, lifting an order that stalled the issuance of more than 400 licenses.
Hundreds of licensees will be allowed to move forward with opening adult-use cannabis stores in New York following the settlement of a pair of lawsuits filed over the state’s rocky recreational rollout.
Under the first settlement, a detailed timeline has been established for the transition of registered organizations (the term applied to medical operators in the state) to adult-use cannabis licenses.
The case involves a coalition of five medical cannabis companies:
The companies, which had sued in March over the state’s licensing approach, will now be allowed to start selling recreational marijuana at designated locations in December, with further expansions permitted in June 2024.
While the state currently has 11 medical operators, the terms of the settlement only apply to the five companies involved in the lawsuit.
On or before Dec. 8, the Cannabis Control Board will host a meeting to consider the RO applications to transition their licenses for adult-use sales. At that meeting, the Office of Cannabis Management will be required to recommend approval for RO’s that have met all technical and deficiency-related requirements.
The CCB must authorize all approved “registered organizations with dispensing” (ROD) to open their first co-located adult-use dispensary by Dec. 29., and then on June 29, 2024, they will be permitted to open their second and third locations.
RO’s have a deadline of Dec. 6 to address any application deficiencies to receive approval for ROD licenses under the settlement.
Separately, four service-disabled veterans – led by Carmine Fiore – who had also sued the state will each receive a license to operate an adult-use cannabis retail dispensary.
That settlement also lifted an August court order that stalled the issuance of more than 400 licenses under the Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) program. The lawsuit originally challenged the constitutionality of the program, claiming it violated the separation of powers doctrine.
A preliminary injunction had been in place since August, when the challenge was first lodged against the state, halting the processing and approval of the licenses. The settlement effectively removes these barriers, allowing the program to proceed. It also includes a moratorium on new licenses.
Key aspects of the Fiore settlement include:
The settlement also includes initiatives to increase service-disabled veteran participation in the cannabis market and to conduct research into veterans’ health concerning cannabis.
The OCM opened the license application process to the public in October . The state expects to issue a number of licenses across various categories, including retail, microbusinesses, cultivators, processors, and distributors. That application window closes Dec. 18.