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New York State Cannabis Control Board Directs All Qualified Retail License Applications Filed by 11/17/23 to be Reviewed and Approved

May 14, 2024

In a highly significant move at its meeting on May 10, 2024, the New York State Cannabis Control Board issued a Supplemental Policy Guidance making clear that all qualified retail cannabis applications filed prior to November 17, 2023 (a.k.a., “November Queue”) will ultimately be recommended for licensing.

The Supplement states the OCM will review all applications in the November Queue (in queue order), with this review to be prioritized for retail-only applications (dispensaries and microbusinesses). Applications that meet all necessary requirements will be recommended for licensure approval by the Cannabis Control Board. This means that anyone who applied for a retail license prior to 5PM on November 17, 2023 will be reviewed and ultimately receive a cannabis business license as long as their application is in order, no matter how far back they are in the queue.

If the land you secured is no longer workable, you may qualify for a provisional license that will allow you to line up a new, suitable location. This will apply to those who were in the queue and are no longer land-secured because you lost control over your location, or if your location is disqualified based on proximity issues (too close to a house of worship or a school or because the OCM determines you are too close to another retail location), or because your jurisdiction has opted out of retail.

For applications in the December queue, the Cannabis Control Board will share additional information about the number of licenses it plans to issue from that queue once the November review is further along. When they do proceed with selection from the December queue, for those of you with lower numbers in that queue, you will be likely to get licensed. The Supplement also states that any December queue applicant who wishes to withdraw their application can be refunded their application fee.

Like with all cannabis-related regulation, there are always shades of gray and each situation is unique. To discuss your individual situation, for more details on New York’s new review procedures, or to learn more about our multi-state cannabis practice, please contact David C. Holland at dholland@princelobel.comAndrew Schriever at aschriever@princelobel.com, or Michael Ross at mross@princelobel.com.

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