Since New York passed its adult-use cannabis legislation in March of 2021, we have all been waiting for one thing: a timeline for when adult-use licenses will be issued. We finally have an answer, which is… disappointing.
Cannabis Control Board (CCB) Chairwoman Tremaine Wright has now publicly stated that the CCB is “working on an 18-month timeline to build the requisite policies framing the new legal marijuana market.” Even that statement was hedged to clarify that dispensaries would not necessary be fully stocked by then either. As quoted by the Rochester City Newspaper:
“What we do control is getting (dispensaries) licensing and giving them all the tools so they can work within our systems. That’s what we are saying will be achieved in 18 months. Not that they’re open, not that they’ll be full-blown operations, because we don’t know that.”
Practically speaking, we get it. Creating an entire industry (one as highly regulated and, regrettably, controversial as cannabis no less) from whole cloth is no easy task. But we had hoped for a tighter timeline (say 18 months from passage of the MRTA), or at least a list of anticipated milestones (release of rules and regulations, public comment period, license applications being accepted, etc.).
The CCB has its third meeting this Wednesday, November 3, 2021, at 1pm (broadcast as usual). Hopefully, the CCB clarifies its timeline and/or provides context as to what and will be happening and when for the next 18 months.
With all of that said, the fact that Chairwoman Wright’s announcement resulted in such heated responses from New York’s cannabis industry’s insiders (we immediately started receiving text messages and emails) shows that the potential for the industry in New York is obvious. Stay tuned for a summary after the CCB’s third meeting.