New York Cannabis Update

New York Cannabis Retail Opt-out Window Expires

December 31, 2021 was the deadline for New York municipalities to opt-out of cannabis retail sales. In New York, municipalities were only permitted to opt-out of retail and consumption licenses, and citizens can overturn municipalities’ opt-out ordinances via ballot measure. Fewer than half of New York’s municipalities passed ordinances to opt-out prior to the December 31 deadline. A list of which municipalities have opted out and which have not can be found here.


Gifting Crackdown

The New York Office of Cannabis Management has begun sending cease-and-desist letters warning that conducting illegal sales could jeopardize one’s ability to obtain a license from the OCM in the future. The letters further warn that landlord’s hosting illegal activity on their premises may jeopardize their ability to house a licensed retail dispensary or on-sight consumption lounge in the future. Per the letters, “Illegal sales include the sale of cannabis products in-person at a retail location, online, via delivery, or at an event; and include so-called ‘gifting’ where consumers purchase non-cannabis items or services, such as membership in a club, and are then provided cannabis as part of the sale.” A copy of the enforcement letters can be found here.


Gov. Hochul Signs Conditional Cannabis Cultivation Bill

On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law S8084A with the intention of bolstering the adult-use supply chain in preparation of New York’s eventual adult-use industry. S8084A creates the Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator and Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Processor licenses. Eligibility requirements include having a hemp license from New York’s Department of Agriculture as of Dec. 31, 2021, having grown and harvested hemp for at least two of the past four years, and participating in an environmental sustainability program and social equity mentorship program. These conditional licenses will expire by 2024, so New York hemp businesses will still need to eventually apply for adult-use licenses with the New York Office of Cannabis Management. A copy of S8084A can be found here.