New York Releases Cannabis Delivery Rules, Pivots on Retail Regulations

Questions remain on how payments will be processed for delivery.

The New York Office of Cannabis Management on Friday released new guidance on how its 36 social equity marijuana retailers might launch delivery sales before the end of the year.

The agency simultaneously pivoted to allow the three dozen licensees to select their own locations for brick-and-mortar shops, reversing course from a prior mandate that the retailers would have to use locations of the state’s choosing.

In a news release, the OCM said it will allow companies to secure warehouse locations to use as inventory storage and delivery hubs for at least one year.

Sales, however, will be limited to online orders only, including for payment, and cash sales will be prohibited, leaving it unclear exactly how retailers will process transactions.

No in-person sales or pick-ups from the warehouse hubs will be permitted. Delivery operators can use motorized vehicles, scooters, bicycles, “or other similar methods of transportation,” the OCM stated. The retailers will also be limited to a maximum of 25 delivery staff.

The policy reversal for physical storefronts is a major shift for the 36 licensees, since previously they had been waiting to hear from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), which had been tasked with overseeing the $200 million fund with which retail shops would be built out.

But DASNY has been slow to find and sign leases for shops, and thus far has announced only one location, in Harlem.

So the OCM switched course to let the licensees choose their own locations.

The 36 licensees “can submit for approval their own proposed location for their retail store and may still qualify for financial support for renovations from the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund operated by (DASNY),” the OCM release stated. “DASNY will continue the work of securing retail locations and locations will be matched with licensees as they become available.”

John Schroyer

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