NY Cannabis News: First Legal Canna Dispensaries Coming Soon, Cease & Desist Letters Hurt Confidence in Legal Weed Plans

William Davis

By approving the final rules for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses, which are necessary to launch the initiative, the New York State Cannabis Control Board advanced the so-called Seeding Opportunity Initiative.

The resolution approved on Thursday mandates that the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) shall publish the opening date on its website at least 14 days before the application process starts, which is anticipated later this summer. It also authorizes the CAURD license application form.

Through the proposal, people who were most adversely affected by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition and those with solid business experience would run the state's first legal adult-use cannabis businesses.

Before the end of 2022, those people will sell the first cannabis products for adult use produced by state growers, according to the OCM.

Following consideration of more than 600 public comments on the proposed rules for CAURD licenses, which will be published on the OCM website, permission was given.

The OCM states that the restrictions will take effect on August 3, 2022, with the permission of the Cannabis Control Board, according to a local CBS affiliate.

In order to apply for a CAURD license, a person must provide documentation of a qualified cannabis-related infraction, proof of a qualifying company or organization, and other standard application information.

The Seeding Opportunity Initiative would grant CAURD licenses to equity entrepreneurs who met two criteria for eligibility: Prior to the passing of the Marijuana Regulation Tax Act in March 2021, the person must have either received a cannabis-related conviction or had a parent, guardian, child, or spouse who has.

Additionally, they must have prior knowledge in starting and running a prosperous company in New York.

Efforts of NY officials to legalize cannabis turning out to be a mess

The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) in New York State said back in February that it had delivered cease-and-desist letters to hundreds of stores around the state that it believed were selling marijuana without a permit. The letters cautioned that disobeying the requirement would prohibit a retailer from obtaining a valid license whenever they become available later this year.

The OCM was compelled to reveal the letters last week as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request made by The Gothamist. The names of the companies ordered to discontinue operations were contained in them and were visible to everyone.

The cease-and-desist letters imply that whenever the legal market opens, the state will prevent non-compliant companies from doing business there. However, it doesn't seem that the OCM currently has the authority to impose any penalties.

Regulators should take care not to harass the legacy providers they claim to be assisting through social justice measures, even when they have the authority to start taking action.

Two of the 66 letters were sent to companies that claim to have never received correspondence from the OCM. One company insisted that they don't even sell marijuana.

Officials from the state claim they wish to assist in easing gray market participants into the rapidly approaching legal market. But as the state looks toward a fall or winter opening day for adult-use sales, these cease-and-desist orders and the public disclosure of who got them have only raised fresh concerns.

The next cash harvest in New York is at risk, and state authorities don't exude confidence. Nicole Reynolds, the owner of an events company who received a warning notice despite never selling or advertising marijuana, told the Ithica Voice that the OCM's inability to control the enormous new sector they're about to unleash is a disconcerting indicator.

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William Davis is a CBD and MMJ enthusiast working with Quick Med Cards. He has been covering cannabis-related stories for many years and has been involved in educating readers about the potential benefits this tabooed plant can have.

Sheridan, WY
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