A leading regulator in New York indicated that the upcoming Cannabis Control Board (CCB) meeting might authorize the first licenses for recreational marijuana retailers in approximately two weeks.
Axel Bernabe of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) said at the Business of Cannabis conference in New York City that while nothing has been officially scheduled and announced, CCB is expected to meet on November 21 and possibly approve the first set of Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses.
On a separate panel, CCB chair Tremaine Wright said, “we are on target” to open the first cannabis businesses owned by those who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
Wright said, “There would be stores open by the end of the year. We’re going to keep expanding until there are 150 of us all around the state.”
OCM issued dispensary guidelines that “serve to give the framework that will allow [CAURD] licensees plan for how to operate their dispensary before regulations are actually established.”
There was a lot of talk at the conference about the need to level the playing field for small businesses and justice-involved company owners. Officials have expressed confidence that Governor Kathy Hochul’s (D) $200 million private-public social equity fund will contribute to the state’s pursuit of parity with neighboring jurisdictions.
Bernabe’s statements provide more detail than the repeated assurances of regulators in recent months that retail outlets selling marijuana for adults will be up and running by year’s end. He claimed that the state is “positioned” to achieve its objective.
The Office of Cannabis Management’s head of staff, Axel Bernabe, has stated that applications have been evaluated and the “best in class” would be recommended for approval.