NEW YORK (WTEN/WROC) — The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced in a board meeting they approved the first Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses.

Officials from the Office of Cannabis Management said they received over 900 applications for these licenses and approved 36 provisional licenses, 28 individuals, and 8 non-profit applicants.

They added at least one license was granted in each available region. The Finger Lakes region, however, was not one of the regions granted a license due to an ongoing lawsuit.

“While we’re not in a position to comment on pending litigation, we will just ask our stakeholders both in the Finger Lakes and across the state to be patient as we work through the process. OCM is working very closely with stakeholders across the state to ensure we are aligned on timelines and what the next steps might look like,” said John Kagia, director of policy for the NYS Office of Cannabis Management.

State Assembly majority leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes also expressed her concern for the regions left out during Monday’s board session.

“We’ll get through whatever we have to get through with what these people are trying to do to us in the court system,” said Peoples-Stokes, “I know that we’ll win this case, and we look forward to those missed particularly from those regions.”

Officials also said these licenses mark the completion of the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, introduced by Governor Hochul to put those with prior cannabis-related offenses to make the first adult-use sales in New York.

The focus of the board meeting on seven adult-use cannabis license types. The license types are as follows:

  1. Cultivation 
  2. Nursery 
  3. Processing 
  4. Distribution 
  5. Retail Dispensary
  6. Microbusiness License
  7. Cannabis Collective (Co-op)

Cultivation, nursery, processing, distribution, and cannabis collective (co-op) are classified as supply-tier licenses.

Supply Tier Licenses

The cultivation license regulations include:

  • create five tiers of cultivation licenses that are differentiated by light source. The allotted square footage per license ranges from 5,000 – 100,000 square feet.  

These regulations incentivize sustainable cultivation practices and limited energy utilization including outdoor cultivation. 

Under the nursery license:

  • Holders of this license will be allowed to sell immature cannabis plants and seeds to licensees, including to retail licensees but they cannot sell immature plants directly to consumers. 
  • These license-holders will help New York pioneer future advances in cannabis science genetics 

Under the distribution license:

  • Holders of this license can distribute cannabis to an adult-use dispensary from a processor. 

Under the cannabis collective co-op:

  • To encourage more cooperatives in New York’s cannabis market, the regulations allow for either cooperative association or traditional cooperative model so that these entities can receive investments. 
  • The regulations also allow holders of this license to scale up their operation in proportion to how many members join with a minimum of five members required to get the license (not inclusive of investors). 

Retail Tier Licenses

The only license that is listed under the retail tier category is the retail dispensary license.

  • The regulations provide specificity to the design of dispensary operations including all security and staffing requirements. 
  • The regulations also provide dispensary operators with additional authorizations to conduct delivery operations and to allow on-site consumption in approved locations. 

Integrated Licenses

The only regulation that is listed under the integrated license tier is the microbusiness license.

  • The regulations clarify activities authorized under this vertical license. 
  • The regulations set the amount of canopy authorized to be utilized by a microbusiness license holder at 3,500 square feet indoors or 10,000 square feet outdoors.  
  • The regulations also allow micro businesses to have retail locations that are distinct from their cultivation and processing facility.