While adult use cannabis has been legal in New York State for nearly three years, legal retailers are in short supply, largely due to the many obstacles the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) encountered while drafting and attempting to implement the proposed regulations. Now that conditional adult use cultivator and processor licenses have been extended through June 1, 2024, OCM recently released its guidance for a new Cannabis Growers Showcase (CGS) program.

The CGS program allows licensed cannabis growers and processors to showcase cannabis products to consumers in joint ventures with conditional adult-use retail dispensary licensees. Although this sounds similar to the Cannabis Crop Rescue Act and cannabis farmer’s markets, only those with approved, final Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses will be permitted to sell cannabis products to consumers at a showcase. These showcases will allow for the sale of various cannabis and cannabinoid hemp products, cannabis paraphernalia, stationary, gifts, or other minor branded merchandise approved by the office of cannabis management; however, no onsite consumption of cannabis products will be permitted.

In addition, CGS retailers cannot offer for sale:

  • Food or beverages that do not contain cannabis, except for water;
  • Any alcohol products;
  • Any tobacco or any product containing tobacco or nicotine;
  • Any items that are commonly associated with, or marketed in a manner to, attract those under the age of 21, including, but not limited to, candy, toys and games; or
  • Apparel or merchandise, including jewelry or accessories that reference a brand other than the licensee’s.

Those who want to organize a showcase must apply to the OCM. To be eligible, the organizer must partner with at least three or more Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators (AUCC) and a CAURD (CGS vendor). For every three AUCCs, the showcase may also include an Adult-Use Conditional Processor (AUCP) and sell cannabis products the partner AUCP produced and distributed to the vendor. For every three AUCC partners in the showcase, an additional CAURD may participate as an additional vendor.

For showcases to be held before September 5, 2023, applications must be submitted at least 10 business days in advance. Applications for a showcase to be held after September 5, 2023, must be submitted at least 20 business days before the showcase date. OCM will allow for application amendments up to 5 business days in advance of the showcase.

CGS is a temporary program and OCM is accepting applications from July 19, 2023, through December 1, 2023, with the deadline for the completion of all showcases being January 1, 2024. The showcases cannot last beyond 14 consecutive days but may be reoccurring events.

More information on the CGS program is available at the following links:

Harris Beach’s cannabis attorneys continue to follow developments throughout the industry. Our Cannabis Industry Team is on top of all regulatory developments and other pertinent industry news. For more information, please contact attorney William M. X. Wolfe at (315) 214-2059 and wwolfe@harrisbeach.com, or the Harris Beach attorney with whom you most frequently work.

This alert is not a substitute for advice of counsel on specific legal issues.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as Washington D.C., New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.

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