The application window for cannabis business licenses in New York was extended.
Original deadlines for New York’s cannabis business license application window have been extended. The extension grants hundreds of cannabis businesses an extra two weeks to apply for their licenses (1).
The option to extend the deadline came about in a Cannabis Control Board meeting that took place on October 17, 2023. Non-provisional retail and microbusinesses now have until Friday, November 17, 2023, to file for a license. All other licenses such as those for cultivation and processing, have received an extension until Monday, December 18, 2023, for their application. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced these new deadlines on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter (1,2).
Although this extension provides relief to businesses needing more time, it does pose other challenges. With a strong need for cannabis banking, many operators are stretched thin on cash and the extension brings financial obstacles to the table, according to Lauren Rudick, a cannabis attorney (1).
“More time will hopefully inspire a diverse slate of applicants and reduce barriers to entry, but for those applicants who are already carrying real estate or otherwise burning cash, further delays are troubling,” the founder of New York-based Rudick Law Group told MJBizDaily via email (1).
Social and economic equity (SEE) applicants will receive priority in the licensing process. This includes applicants (1), “from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of past prohibition, minority- and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veterans.”
Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) applicants and licensees have been recommended by regulators to submit their applications during this extended timeframe.
New York’s OCM is expected to process up to 1,500 licenses for microbusinesses, retail, processing, and cultivation operators (1). Between 500 to 1,000 licenses, which is the majority, have been designated for cannabis retailers. In August, a New York judge placed a freeze on all business applications and approvals (1,3) preventing new adult-use stores to open, which has held up CAURD holders and applicants.
To help businesses apply for CAURD licenses, the state’s OCM launched a statewide outreach initiative where they will visit locations such as Brooklyn, Harlem, and Albany (1).