Cannabis Update

Cannabis Control Board Approves First Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) Licenses & Advances Proposed Adult-Use Regulation Package

On November 21st, New York’s Cannabis Control Board unanimously approved the State’s first 36 Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Licenses. Twenty-eight of the licensees are business owners with a cannabis conviction or have a family member with a cannabis conviction and the other eight are nonprofit organizations. “Today is a monumental day for New York’s nascent cannabis industry,” said Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright. “With the first adult-use retail dispensary licenses in the hands of businesses and eligible nonprofits, we’ve ensured the first sales will be made at dispensaries operated by those impacted by the unjust enforcement of cannabis prohibition. This is just the start. We will continue to work to build an industry that is open to anyone who wants to participate.”

The Cannabis Control Board also advanced an adult-use cannabis regulation package. The proposed package outlines various processes and rules that adult-use cannabis licensees will need to follow when conducting cannabis operations in New York, including:

  • The application and license selection and renewal process;
  • The role municipalities play in regulating cannabis businesses;
  • Key social and economic equity program provisions including identification and prioritizations;
  • Environmental and sustainability standards;
  • Ownership and true party of interest prohibitions; and
  • General business operating requirements including security, record keeping, and transportation.

The regulations will be filed for a 60-day public comment period, after which changes will be made to the proposed regulations before being sent back to the Cannabis Control Board. The full package of proposed regulations can be found here:

Cannabis Control Board Advances Revised Regulations to Packaging and Labeling & Marketing and Advertising, and Laboratories

The Cannabis Control Board also voted unanimously to advance revised regulations for packaging, labeling, marketing and advertising as well as laboratory permitting, oversight and testing of adult-use cannabis. Revisions to the Packaging and Labeling & Marketing and Advertising regulations include allowing the use of additional images, branding, and graphics in cannabis product packaging and labeling, including through special branding material, and allowing licensees to conduct redemption programs as part of an approved sustainability plan.

Some of the revisions to laboratory regulations include clarifications for proficiency test provider requirements, personnel requirements, and ownership requirements.

The revised Adult-Use Packaging and Labeling regulations can be found here:

The revised Cannabis Laboratory regulations can be found here:

Both sets of revised regulations will undergo a final 45-day public comment period that commenced on December 7th and will end on January 23, 2023.

Office of Cannabis Management Allowing CAURD Licensees to Deliver Cannabis Products

After the first CAURD licenses were announced last month, the Office of Cannabis Management announced that the licensees will be allowed to deliver cannabis products while their physical locations are being built and released guidelines outlining how cannabis delivery will work. The guidelines allow licensees to fulfill deliveries out of a warehouse location while the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) build their storefronts. The rules also state that adults 21-years of age and older can place prepaid orders for products from their phone or online, but may not make in-person purchases at the warehouse. Also, businesses that are providing delivery are limited to having just 25 delivery staff. Other notable rules include:

  • Deliveries can be made to a customer at all forms of residential properties; short and long-term residencies; or provide businesses, but are not allowed anywhere else, including but not limited to public buildings, public spaces including parks; community centers, and any school grounds, day-care centers; and houses of worship;
  • Deliveries outside of New York State are not permitted;
  • An enclosed vehicle belonging to a licensee may have up to $20,000 of cannabis products at any time. Non-enclosed vehicles (bikes, scooters, foot, etc.) may only have up to $5,000 of cannabis products at any time. At least 30% of cannabis products in the possession of a delivery employee’s vehicle must be ordered and paid for by customers by the time the delivery worker leaves the licensed location;
  • Any items for sale on the online ordering platform must include the price and total cost (including tax) of each item for sale;
  • Licensees cannot give away, including through donating, any cannabis products;
  • Licensees cannot advertise giveaways, discounts, price reductions, points-based reward systems, or customer loyalty programs;
  • Licensees shall not be allowed to operate from 12:00 AM to 8:00 AM, unless given express written permission by such municipality, or the municipality passes a local ordinance, authorizing it to operate beyond such hours;
  • Licensees must utilize an age-restriction mechanism or “age-gate” to ensure those under 21 cannot view any website or digital application through which an individual can place a delivery order and an additional identification check must be carried out by the employee making the delivery at the time of delivery;
  • Licensees must post consumer education materials on their website and provide physical consumer education maters, as made available by the Office of Cannabis Management;
  • Licensees must have the rights to use (including possession through a lease or ownership) any motorized or unmotorized vehicle it uses for any transport of cannabis products;
  • Licensees must report the make and model of delivery vehicles to the Office of Cannabis Management, as well as a proof of registrations and insurance;
  • Transportation used to cannabis products must:
    • Not identify or indicate that the transportation is used to transport cannabis products;
    • If necessary, based on the distance and weather conditions of the transport, have temperature controls to prevent the cannabis products from deteriorating;
    • Secure the cannabis products in a fully enclosed locked box, bag, cage, or other container on or in the vehicle or on the person;
    • Only contain cannabis products that are on the delivery log for that transport; and
    • Have an operating GPS system which can identify the delivery personnel’s location at any time to the licensee in real time and, if requested, to the Office of Cannabis Management no later than 48 hours following the request.
  • Delivery employees must carry a physical or electronic copy of the CAURD licensee license number, proof of employment with the licensee, the address of the CAURD location licensee, delivery inventory log, and contact information of the licensee; and
  • After a retail dispensary or temporary delivery-only location has been approved by the Office of Cannabis Management, applicants must follow the local notification procedure pursuant to Cannabis Law.

The full delivery guidance document can be found here: