Cannabis Update – Cannabis Advisory Board Members Announced, Finalized Rules for Conditional Retail Licenses Approved, Retail Dispensary Application Released & More!

Governor Hochul Announces Cannabis Advisory Board Members & Cannabis Control Board Approves Conditional Processor License Application and Chief Equity Officer

On Wednesday, June 22nd, Governor Hochul announced the first 13 members of the New York Cannabis Advisory Board. The board will advise the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Cannabis Control Board on issues related to adult-use cannabis, medical cannabis, and cannabinoid hemp and hemp extract, and will oversee the disbursement of grants to support communities that have been impacted by prior drug laws. “Today, New York takes an important step forward in creating jobs and opportunity for those who, historically, have been disproportionately targeted for cannabis infractions,” the Governor said. “As we create a new industry in New York, I am proud to see real progress in addressing the economic needs for our future entrepreneurs.”

On Thursday, June 23rd, the Cannabis Control Board approved an application form for adult-use conditional processor licenses. The conditional license will allow licensees to manufacture and distribute cannabis products while the state is establishing its recreational cannabis market. Potential applicants will have from June 28th through August 31st to apply. The Board also approved Damian Fagon as the Office of Cannabis Management’s Chief Equity Officer. Fagon, who is a farmer and has a background in international development and agriculture, will be tasked with ensuring the agency is meeting equity goals. Fagon will also develop an economic and social plan that will be used to help guide the OCM while it sets up the state’s recreational adult-use cannabis market. 

The 13 members of the Cannabis Advisory Board are:

  • Alejandro Alvarez – Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder of Soulful Synergy
  • Joe Belluck – Partner at Belluck & Fox, LLC
  • Dr. Junella Chin, MD – Integrative Medical Cannabis Physician
  • Allan Clear, MD – Director, Office of Drug User Health at New York State Department of Health
  • Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, MD – Commissioner, New York State Office of Addition Services & Support
  • Ibrahim Jamil Darden – Ebro In the Morning
  • Kathleen DeCataldo – Assistant Commissioner, Office of Student Support Services at the New York State Department of Education
  • TheArthur A. Duncan II, Esq – Counselor and Attorney at Law, Law Office of TheArthur A. Duncan.
  • Alan Gandelman – President of New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association
  • Dareth Glance – Deputy Commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Ruth Hassell-Thompson – Former State Senator & Special Advisor for Policy and Community Affairs at the New York State Division of Homes & Community Renewal
  • Gary Johnson – Chair of the NAACP New York State Economic Development
  • Nikki Kateman – Political & Communications Director, Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW
  • Suzanne Miles-Gustave, Esq – Executive Deputy Commissioner, New York State Office of Children & Family Services
  • Russell Oliver – Director of the Division of Employment & Workforce Solutions, New York State Department of Labor
  • Sarah Ravenhall – Executive Director, New York State Association of County Health Officials
  • Chandra Redfern – Chief Executive Officer at the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers Inc.
  • Armando Rosado – Private Investigator at AR Investigations, Inc.
  • Peter Schafter – Owner, Nanticoke Gardens
  • Scott Wynder, Esq – General Counsel, New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets

Cannabis Control Board Approves Finalized Rules for Retail Licenses & Releases Application for Retail Dispensaries

On Thursday July 14th, the Cannabis Control Board took a major step forward in the process of setting up New York’s adult-use recreational cannabis market by approving finalized Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Regulations. Under the new regulations, which were first released in March and underwent a public comment period that ended June 30th, the first group of retail licenses will go to individuals who have past marijuana convictions. “This is a tremendous stride in the right direction,” said Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright. “We are leading with equity in this state.” The regulations also include various requirements for conditional licensees, including:

  • Each licensee and true party of interest must be at least 21-years old;
  • Licensees must have entered into a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization;
  • Licensees must commence operations no later than 12-months after the date the license is granted;
  • Licensees are prohibited from leasing, assigning, or subcontracting, in whole or in part, the leased premises;
  • Licensees or any true parties of interest cannot have a direct or indirect financial or controlling interest in more than three conditional adult-use dispensary licenses until the expiration of the conditional period;
  • Licensees or any true parties of interest cannot hold an adult-use cultivation, conditional adult-use cultivator, processor, microbusiness, cooperative or distributor license or have a direct or indirect interest in any cultivator, processor, distributor or microbusiness by taking stock ownership, interlocking directors, mortgage or lien on any personal or real property or by any other means; and
  • After the conditional period expires, to continue conducting business, conditional licensees must apply to transition to an adult-use dispensary license.

The complete regulations can be found here:

The Board also approved the application individuals will need to complete to apply for a conditional adult-use retail dispensary license. The full 51-page draft application can be found here: