Could cannabis-infused cocktails surface as the next restaurant trend? Will concert venues offer pre-rolled joints? Would comedy screenings become legally “enhanced” by edibles?

Two prominent cannabis stakeholders recently proposed that New York state’s Office of Cannabis Management permit certain cannabis dispensaries to include consumption lounges and allow venues like restaurants and theatres to serve marijuana products.

Reggie Keith and Kaelan Castetter, who drafted the proposal, are finding support from other regulators, entrepreneurs and industry power players. On the other hand, critics argue that allowing established and already-thriving businesses to sell cannabis for consumption runs counter to the state’s prioritizing of social equity applicants – those impacted by the war on drugs or a cannabis-related conviction.

The special-use permit under consideration would:

  • Allow lounge customers to consume some of the product on-site and bring the rest home – allowing lounges to sell in greater volume.
  • Authorize permit-holding venues to serve certain cannabis products; but not necessarily allow “smokeable” products in indoor spaces.

Keith and Castetter plan to continue to build support while mounting a public support campaign this summer.

In the meantime, our Cannabis Industry Team continues to monitor the licensing process and gather resources for your organization.

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, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.