New York Creates Conditional Licenses to Jump Start Cannabis Industry

Michael Roche

Michael Roche

  585.231.1364

  mroche@hselaw.com

On February 22, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that creates two new conditional licenses to authorize the growth and processing of cannabis in New York State in the 2022 growing season. New York legalized the recreational use of cannabis on March 31, 2021, but the industry has been delayed while the Office of Cannabis Management develops regulations that will govern the adult-use cannabis industry.

Conditional Adult-Use Cultivator License

The Conditional Adult-Use Cultivator License is available only to cultivators who, as of December 31, 2021, held a license to grow cannabinoid hemp and has grown and harvested hemp in two of the past four years. The licensee does not need to be the same entity, provided at least 51% of the ownership overlaps between the two entities. This license allows licensees to cultivate up to 43,560 square feet of flowering canopy outdoors or up to 25,000 square feet of flowering canopy in a greenhouse using no more than 20 artificial lights. The cultivation of adult-use cannabis must occur in the same or any adjacent county in which the licensee had been authorized to grow hemp. Conditional Adult-Use Cultivator Licenses will be available through December 31, 2022, and valid only through June 30, 2024. All applicants must commence business operations within 6 months of the date the license was issued.

Conditional Adult-Use Processor License

The Conditional Adult-Use Processor License is available only to processors who, as of January 1, 2022, applied for a license to process cannabinoid hemp and hold such license at the time they submit the application. The licensee does not need to be the same entity, provided at least 51% of the ownership overlaps between the two entities. The processing of adult-use cannabis must occur in the same location as the processing of cannabinoid hemp. Conditional Adult-Use Processor Licenses will be available through December 31, 2022, and valid only through June 30, 2024. All applicants must commence business operations within 6 months of the date the license was issued.

Each license may be subject to additional requirements such as participation in an environmental sustainability program and a social equity mentorship program.

For those already involved in the growth and processing of cannabinoid hemp, these new licenses will provide an early entry into the adult-use cannabis space.

If you have any questions regarding this LEGALcurrents, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the firm’s Cannabis Law practice group at 585.232.6500 or 716.853.1616.

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