The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced it will open the application portal for conditional, adult-use retail dispensary license applicants on August 25.

This “wave” of applications is reserved for individuals who were convicted of a marijuana-related offense in New York state prior to March 31, 2021, or who have a close relative with a qualifying conviction.  Applicants must also have experience owning and operating a “qualifying” business.

The office has released a mockup application. Applications will be available on the New York State Business Express site and accepted through September 26. OCM officials are encouraging prospective applicants to begin compiling required documents before the portal opens August 25.

OCM also established a resource page to provide guidance, application assistance, and answer questions about the applications process. The page provides FAQs, defines what it means to be “justice involved” and a qualifying business, and provides additional resources to potential applicants.

Conditional, adult-use retail dispensary licensees will support the first retail establishments for legal adult-use cannabis sales in New York State are positioned to generate the state’s first legal cannabis sales before 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 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.

This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York State, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale and White Plains, as well as New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.