New York Cannabis Licensing: THE Timing Update

The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) provided an update on when New York’s adult-use cannabis market (in full) should start accepting New York cannabis license applications: the middle of 2023. As reported by NY Cannabis Insider, OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander responded to a question about growing and processing cannabis and provided this licensing timeline:

Middle of next year. You’ll see regulations come out sooner – in the next two months or so – but middle of next year you’ll see those applications open for cultivation, for processing, and to do the activities you just laid out.

On one hand, Executive Director Alexander’s statement marks a significant shift in timing, in that Cannabis Control Board (CCB) Chairwoman Tremaine Wright had previously announced that rules and regulations would be out by late winter/early spring of 2022 (which obviously did not happen) and that the entire adult-use market would be up and running (i.e. licenses being issued) by mid-2023.

Here at the Canna Law Blog, we view Executive Director Alexander’s update as a positive one. For potential applicants, the critical wait has been to see the adult-use rules and regulations. All significant planning, from financing to build-outs, is contingent on the actual rules that will govern New York’s legal adult-use cannabis industry.

Actually being able to see the rules and regulations in the next two (or so) months will allow prospective applicants to transition from hypothetical planning to tangible action items. The rest of the OCM’s timeline then adds up: 60 days for public comment on the proposed rules and regulations, a review and revision period, final rules and regulations, and the opening of application portals.

Of course, now we just hope that the OCM sticks to the roughly two-month timeline. As everyone following New York’s cannabis industry is aware, this would not be the first time a timeline is announced, only to see the projected release dates come and go without any new information.

Here’s hoping that we see the proposed adult-use rules and regulations in two or so months, and then keep on schedule from there. Stay tuned!