The State of the State of Cannabis in NY
"And sure enough, even waiting will end... If you can just wait long enough" - William Faulkner
Alas, we thought Honey’s would be much further along in acquiring our retail dispensary license, but as I write, only two legal dispensaries are currently open. Both located in Manhattan, in and near Greenwich Village. Sixty-six CAURD (Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary) applicants have been approved by the NYS Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), none being in the Hudson Valley region with applications being put on hold due to a lawsuit by Variscite NY One. I don’t want to get into that here but you can follow the link to learn more. So why is it taking so long?
To start, New York State is dedicated to creating an equitable industry to right the wrongs of people who have been most affected by the War on Drugs. Unfortunately, communities of color have been disproportionately affected by marijuana laws and have had long term negative effects from carrying around those charges.
Around 160,000 New Yorkers have seen their marijuana specific records expunged with many of those individuals now having a clean record.
It is for this reason that NYS has decided to give first rounds of retail dispensary licenses to these applicants. Many known as legacy operators, who have made their living from cannabis, can now do it legally and without the same fears of incarceration.
New York is also trying to give a leg up to small businesses like Honey’s. Honey’s would not stand a chance against large out of state operators who are seeking to grow their businesses nationally. It’s the difference between the local “mom and pop” stores versus the Walmart’s of cannabis. With that said, there is room at the table for both small and large businesses, but New York is working to give smaller business an equitable start.
Lastly, the retail dispensary regulations have not yet been codified. Regulations are also important for operators to know how they may successfully run their businesses within legal limits. They were released in early December with a 60-day comment period for the public to weigh in. This is an critical process as it allows industry experts, community members and other stakeholders to provide input on the final rules. The comment period is over soon (early February) but after comments are brought back to the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), they will need to review and potentially revise them. If OCM revises any of these regulations, it then goes back out for a secondary comment period of 45-days. As you can see this stretches out the time for finalization. However, the state could chose to start a pre-application process for the next to get a head start. Again, we don’t foresee this happening as the first round CAURD licensees have not yet gotten off the ground.
And so we wait…
In the meantime, we have some amazing CBD products!
We will continue to carry our CBD line after we become a licensed cannabis dispensary. Come out and see us. We love to meet our community members, answer questions and hangout!