The New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) moved one step closer this week to launching adult-use sales and opening recreational shops by green lighting emergency lab testing regulations and immediately opening the application process for testing facilities.

Medical cannabis testing facilities can apply to test recreational marijuana products under the new rules, which also require the establishment of a state reference laboratory for quality control. Under the emergency regulations, labs must be ISO 17025 accredited and use third-party sampling firms to select samples for testing.

The regulations, which are nearly identical to what the CCB proposed June 1, go into effect immediately. The CCB will not take public comment on the rules, but will consider comments submitted to the June 1 proposed rules and make necessary changes.

In addition to the lab testing regulations, the CCB approved the first conditional adult-use processor licenses at Monday’s meeting, with fifteen (15) applications approved in total. To be eligible to apply for a conditional adult-use processor license, a processor must:

  • Have applied for a cannabinoid hemp processor license before Jan. 1, 2022;
  • Hold an active cannabinoid hemp processor license issued by the Office of Cannabis Management; and
  • Have an ownership interest of 51 percent or more of the applicant entity.

Adding processors and laboratories to the cannabis supply chain is key to launching the state’s first legal adult-use cannabis sales by the end of 2022. Experts predict the cannabis market will ultimately generate billions of dollars and create opportunities for all New Yorkers, particularly those from historically marginalized communities.

The Harris Beach Cannabis Industry Team is monitoring the legal landscape to answer the growing number of questions raised by our clients. We look forward to providing insights and guidance to help clients navigate this rapidly evolving area of law.

For more information, please contact Meaghan T. Feenan, who advises on developments within the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), including cultivators and processors, retailers, and distributors. She’s a frequent speaker on Cannabis topics and regularly publishes articles about the licensing process and legislative updates.