On Monday, January 31, New York’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) hosted a virtual public forum for the Finger Lakes. The board is hosting 11 “Cannabis Conversations” throughout the week as the state moves closer to the purchase and selling of legalized marijuana.
The forum centered around the state’s next steps and information for communities that opted-out of participating, according to WHEC.
The CCB’s Chairman Tremain Wright said cities that opted-out of cannabis sales and/or on-site consumption account for a small percentage of the state’s total population. Rochester area municipalities that opted-out include Greece, Gates, and Perinton. The Board says opt-out communities can change their decision at any time.
The state is currently setting up the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which was passed in spring 2021.
“We expect you’ll start seeing regulations for adult-use cannabis business late winter, early spring. These regulations will provide the first look at what applicants will need in order to apply,” said Wright.
The first dispensaries would open up around spring 2023 if the CCB sticks to what Wright calls an “aggressive schedule of 18 months,” according to Albany Times-Union.
The MRTA includes a goal to issue 50% of licenses to “social equity applicants.” In January 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul and board member Reuben McDaniel III announced a $200 million public-private fund to ensure social equity candidates seeking retail licenses have the resources necessary to open facilities.
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