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52 cannabis cultivation licenses approved in New York

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the first round of approved adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses in New York.

A total of 52 licenses were granted. These are the first adult-use cannabis licenses granted in New York State and they advance the Seeding Opportunity Initiative.

The approved licenses are from a pool of more than 150 that have been submitted to the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) following the March 15 opening of the online application portal. The OCM will continue to review applications on a rolling basis and will work to get them to the Board for approval as quickly as possible. A list of the licenses approved today is available here. In February, Governor Hochul signed legislation creating the Cannabis Conditional Cultivator Licenses.

“New York’s farms have been the backbone of our state’s economy since before the American Revolution, and now, New York’s farms will be at the center of the most equitable cannabis industry in the nation,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m proud to announce the first adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses in the state, and I’m proud of the work the Office of Cannabis Management and the Cannabis Control Board are doing to get adult-use cannabis sales up and running as fast as possible without compromising our mission to uplift communities and individuals most impacted by the past century of cannabis prohibition.”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The Seeding Opportunity Initiative, announced by Governor Hochul March 10, 2022, positions equity-entrepreneurs to be the first to make adult-use cannabis sales in New York with products grown by New York farmers. Under the Initiative, these initial equity-entrepreneur, retail owners must meet two prongs of eligibility to qualify. First, they must have a cannabis-related conviction that occurred prior to the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA) on March 31, 2021, or had a parent, guardian, child, spouse, or dependent with a pre-MRTA cannabis-related conviction in the State of New York. Second, they must also have experience owning and operating a successful business in the State of New York.

Medical Home Cultivation Regulations Are Approved for a Second Round of Public Comment

At today’s meeting, the Cannabis Control Board also directed the OCM to file updated regulations for medical home cultivation for a 45-day public comment period, which would start on May 4, the first opportunity for it to appear in the state register. Only after final regulations are approved by the Board will medical home cultivation of cannabis be allowed.

The public comment period for medical cannabis home cultivation regulations closed on January 18. The OCM received over 160 comments from a wide range of stake holders, including addiction prevention and awareness coalitions, small farmers, industry associations, clinical associations and more.

Revisions to the guidelines based on the past comment period include:

  • Updating definitions to provide clarity for terms like “on the grounds of” and “private residence”; 
  • Streamlining section 115.2 to clarify that the regulations pertain to certified patients and designated caregivers 21 years of age or older; 
  • Amending some of the storage and security requirements to maintain protections while reducing costs;
  • Clarifying the plant limit for designated caregivers growing for multiple patients; and 
  • Providing a framework for the sale of medical cannabis seeds or immature plants for home cultivation by entities licensed or registered with the Office. These regulations include provisions for packaging, labeling, transporting, storing, and selling of seeds and immature plants for the purposes of home cultivation of medical cannabis.