Cannabis Control Board Finalizes Hemp Rules, Sets Research Lab Fees In Harlem And Beyond

November 17, 2023

 Today, the New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) voted to adopt cannabinoid hemp products regulations, establish fees for licensed cannabis laboratories across New York.

Including renewing medical cannabis registrations. More details about these votes can be found below.

“Today we took several key steps forward to adopt regulations that will help ensure that we continue to protect public health, safety, and the welfare of consumers from the immediate threat posed by intoxicating cannabinoid hemp products currently being sold outside of our licensed dispensary framework in New York State,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. 

“The regulations we approved today speak to the high standards we hold our licensees and operators to, and to our commitment of making sure the rules are clear, helpful, and grounded in the values imbued in the MRTA,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. “As we look ahead, I want to thank New Yorkers who continue to invest their dollars, and their trust, in New York State’s legal cannabis shops, and acknowledge the incredible sacrifice – and resilience – of CAURD licensees who continue to persevere. The road to this moment has not been easy, and the work continues.  We will – and we must – continue to expand the opportunity for all to participate in this growing market.”

During today’s Board Meeting, OCM also shared total sales updates for the calendar year. New York’s 27 adult-use cannabis dispensaries and 54 Cannabis Growers Showcases have generated $112.1 million in sales in 2023.


Cannabis Control Board Finalizes Cannabinoid Hemp Rules

Today, the CCB voted to adopt regulations around cannabinoid hemp products. The 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalized hemp products around the country, defining hemp as flower that is tested at below 0.3% THC. Since that federal change, some processors have started making cannabinoid hemp products, like edibles or drinks, with intoxicating effects. In 2022 and 2023, processors began to create more of these cannabinoid hemp products with intoxicating amounts of THC and retailers began to sell more of these products to consumers, including those under 21 years old, nationally and in New York. These regulations limit the total amount of THC in cannabinoid hemp products sold in New York by setting a cap for how much THC can be in each recommended serving.

The CCB first proposed these rules in July 2023, which were shared for a public comment period that began on August 9, 2023 and ended on October 10, 2023. OCM received 218 distinct comments from 86 individuals and organizations on these proposed rules. In drafting the regulations, the Office completed a regulatory analysis of the eight (8) states with THC limits imposed on cannabinoid hemp products, the available peer-reviewed literature, and task force recommendations from three (3) states that convened task forces, as well as analyzed numerous studies to determine an appropriate level of THC in cannabinoid hemp products.  These rules will be effective upon publication in the State Register.


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Control Board Members Vote to Set Lab Fees

At today’s meeting, the CCB also voted to establish fees for licensed cannabis laboratories across New York. Pursuant to Part 130 of Title 9 of New York’s Codes, Rules and Regulations, the fees will be tied to the laboratories’ gross annual receipts. Each laboratory’s annual fee will be either 1% of its gross annual receipts, or $1,000, whichever number is greater.

Registered Organizations – New Registrations and Renewals

On October 31, 2023, OCM opened the application window to add new medical cannabis operators, known as “registered organizations” (ROs) in New York State. The addition of these operators will provide for more medical dispensaries to serve patients across the State.  The application is centered on increasing patient access and serving the public’s interest. Applicants who are culturally and medically competent as well as connected to the communities they serve are encouraged to apply.

This application seeks operators who have plans to open dispensaries in counties and communities that do not currently have any medical cannabis dispensaries with an eye towards geographic diversity. The application is open until 5 p.m. on December 19, 2023. Learn more about the application here.  

In addition, CCB voted today to renew the licenses of nine existing ROs in New York State. The CCB voted to renew the following ROs: Citiva Medical, LLC, Columbia Care NY, LLC, Curaleaf NY, LLC, Etain, LLC, Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, Inc, NYCANNA, LLC, PharmaCann of New York, LLC, Valley Agriceuticals, LLC, and Vireo Health of New York, LLC. There is a remaining application still under review.

Pursuant to New York’s Cannabis Law, ROs must apply to the CCB to have their registration renewed every two years. The ROs were required to provide several items with their renewal applications, including:

  • An environmental sustainability program plan, recycling plan, and explanation as to how the RO minimizes or eliminates adverse environmental impacts;
  • An explanation of how the RO engaged in cannabis research, performed education and outreach to patients/practitioners, and improved affordability of medical cannabis products for patients;
  • A description of how the RO is, or plans to become, culturally, linguistically, and medically competent to serve unserved and underserved patients in NY; and
  • An explanation of any activities the RO has initiated, or plans to initiate, to have a positive community impact community impact plan.

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