New York State Cannabis Control Board approves major regulatory overhaul, issuing over 100 new licenses and enhancing enforcement powers

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The New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) has stepped up in its mission to upgrade the cannabis regulatory framework with several resolutions designed to issue new licenses, simplify the adult-use cannabis licensing process, and enhance crucial enforcement measures.   

Currently, New York State has over 120 dispensaries open for business providing a diverse range of quality, safer, tested cannabis products for adults over 21+. This board approval granted 104 adult-use licenses as well as 17 provisional licenses, bringing the total adult-use licenses in New York to 540 issued in 2024 so far.

“We’ve already accomplished a great deal in building New York’s cannabis market. And we’ve done it while centering equity,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. “We have plenty of work to do, and an opportunity to deliver on. We will continue to work hard to protect and further those advancements so that everyone has a chance to compete.”

Of the 104 licenses, 27 were for adult-use cultivation, 23 for distributors, 14 for microbusinesses, 17 for processing and 23 for retail dispensaries, plus 17 provisional licenses for additional retail dispensaries. With this resolution, the state opens pathways for entrepreneurs and businesses to participate in the budding adult-use cannabis market, fostering economic growth and innovation. 

The new measures direct the Office of Cannabis Management to prioritize the review of applications from the November queue before attending to those from the December queue. This decision recognizes that November applicants were required to demonstrate control over their proposed retail dispensary or microbusiness locations, a requirement not imposed on December applicants.

The resolution ensures that applications meeting all necessary requirements for full operational licensure will be recommended to the CCB for approval at upcoming Board meetings. Applications that partially meet the criteria will be eligible for a provisional license, while those failing to meet the requirements will be recommended for denial. Provisional licenses may be granted if the applicant’s location conflicts with a protected proximity zone, is near schools or places of worship, or if control over the location is lost.

Additionally, the Board plans to provide updates for the December queue applications based on a new supply and demand analysis of the cannabis supply chain.

In response to litigation that halted the issuance and processing of CAURD licenses for five months, the CCB approved a resolution to extend the provisional license period by an additional 12 months from the date of receipt. This extension accommodates regulations requiring licensees to commence operations within 12 months of provisional license issuance. The resolution also grants CAURD licensees the flexibility to establish retail dispensaries in any region across New York State, removing the previous restriction to specific regions.

The CCB also passed a resolution empowering the Office of Cannabis Management to amend the emergency regulations related to enforcement, titled “Part 133 – Violations, Hearings, and Enforcement Emergency Regulations.” This enhancement grants the Office expanded authority to issue orders to seal and padlock unlicensed shops engaged in illicit activities that pose an imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare. This measure underscores the state’s commitment to protecting communities and consumers throughout New York.

“The resolutions passed today exemplify our proactive approach to shaping a robust regulatory framework for New York’s cannabis market while remaining committed to clarity and adaptability,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. “Through measures like extending provisional license periods and enhancing enforcement powers, we’re ensuring an accessible marketplace that prioritizes public health and safety as well as innovation and growth.  Together these actions will bolster the success of the entrepreneurs within the market.”

A full list of New York’s licensed, operational adult-use cannabis retailers is available here.