New York Gives Cannabis Farmers Another Month to Choose Business Model

The OCM previously expected growers to choose by Feb. 1.

New York cannabis regulators extended a deadline for marijuana farmers to choose their business model to the end of the month, instead of requiring them to make a choice by Feb. 1, one farmer confirmed to Green Market Report.

Brittany Carbone, a board member of the Cannabis Association of New York, said that the state Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) relented on Monday during negotiations with cannabis farmers and gave all 280 growers until Feb. 28 to make their business model selection.

Not only that, Carbone said, but the OCM also clarified that growers won’t be forced to stick to their choice when the end of the “conditional” license period comes to a close in June 2024, and that farmers will have the flexibility to update their cultivation plans before they apply for full permanent licensure.

The OCM told farmers that any who had already submitted a choice and wanted to reconsider before Feb. 28 will be allowed to switch their selection, Carbone said.

The OCM informed licensed cannabis farmers about a month ago that they would have to make one of four selections for the 2023 farming season:

  • Full outdoor
  • Full greenhouse
  • Two different combination grows, with different lighting requirements

Carbone praised the regulators for showing some flexibility with the situation, but also said there wasn’t any light shed on exactly why farmers are being forced to make the choice.

“I’m happy they got back to us, that they extended the deadline, and allowing for that choice to be made again,” Carbone said, adding she thinks regulators realized it was unreasonable to ask small farmers to lock themselves into a single cultivation plan without better market data of what products sell and what don’t.

That means farmers will be able to change up their business model next year if their choice for 2023 doesn’t turn out to be as profitable as initially hoped.

“We’ll know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into, rather than trying to predict the future,” Carbone said about how OCM will allow farmers to change their cultivation outlay next year if they want. “That put a lot of peoples’ minds at ease, at least a little bit.”

John Schroyer

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