The New York Cannabis Control Board announced on Thursday that an additional 58 farmers for adult-use cannabis have been approved. This brings the total of approved farmers to 146. The NYCCB initially approved 52 farmers in April and then gave the green light to another 36 at the May 5 meeting. People hoping to get these licenses were able to begin applying on March 15 and the opportunity will end on June 30. The NYCCB says it has gotten over 200 applications and the 50 remain to be processed and reviewed.
The board continues to suggest that adult-use stores could be opened as soon as the end of the year, but many believe that goal is too ambitious and the reality is that stores will actually open in 2023. Many regulations have yet to even be written and illegal operations are flourishing within the city. There are numerous pop-up shops and mobile cannabis operations that seem to operate with impunity. Technically, these operations are illegal because without the rules having been written, there is no law to actually enforce.
Social Equity Fund
In addition to approving farmers, the latest NYCCB meeting addressed the social equity fund called the Seeding Opportunity Initiative. While many originally thought this fund would be in grant form, it is really just a loan program. The $200 million fund was approved by the state Legislature and is being administered in partnership with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, a public benefit corporation that helps build out not-for-profit entities in the state. The Dormitory Authority told the board it is looking for an investment manager to oversee the Initiative as well as a person to take on oversight of the dispensary building.
CCB member Reuben McDaniel III said, “We will be building a significant number of these facilities over a 12-month period of time. So our goal is to get between eight and 10 design-build firms throughout the state of New York.” He noted that responses for the fund manager role are due on June 8, and for the design-build roles on June 13.
The group also noted that it continues to provide educational sessions. On May 24, there is one titled “How to support cannabis cultivation in NYS” and another on May 25 titled “How to ensure equity in the NYS cannabis economy?”