The Office of Cannabis Management's (OCM) executive director, Chris Alexander discussed the timetable of adult-use licensure rollout in the Empire State, during a webinar titled "The Promise of Social Equity in the Cannabis Industry," hosted by Cornell University.
Alexander said that in May, the OCM would allow for a 5-6 month window (including the required 60-day public comment period) in order to assess and make changes, with licensure programmed for October, November or December, reported Mondaq.com. He also discussed different approaches for different licensures and noted that licensure rollout will likely be staggered to ensure proper retail supply.
When asked about the cease-and-desist letters sent to cannabis businesses "gifting" cannabis products Alexander acknowledged his office has been aware of these operations for quite some time. “We wanted to start with letting people know that (...) even though the police aren't coming to knock down your door, this activity is still not legal."
Alexander stressed the need to distinguish "gifting" from legacy operations. “We have not ‘cracked down’ on those operations,” he clarified. “We're taking a step to understand that part of the broader goal of legalizing cannabis in New York, [it] wasn't just to create the industry, it was also to create revenue to rebuild communities. And by folks operating outside of that scope, you're cutting the full benefit of this program short."
In addition, Alexander spoke about the need to be creative in getting legacy operators to participate in the legal market and the removal of barriers to entry such as lowering the capital requirements for licensure and removal of full site control requirements.
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