NYS Cannabis Control Board Awards 30 CAURD Provisional Licenses

January 25, 2023

Today, the Cannabis Control Board provisionally approved 30 Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses.

Increasing New York’s total provisional retail-dispensary licenses to 66.   The CAURD license is a central pillar of the Seeding Opportunity Initiative. Through the Initiative, New York’s first legal adult-use retail dispensaries will be operated by those most impacted by the enforcement of the prohibition of cannabis or nonprofit organizations whose services include support for the formerly incarcerated.  

These dispensaries will be among those making the first legal adult-use sales with cannabis products grown by Farmers in New York. The Office of Cannabis Management received over 900 applications for CAURD licenses. At today’s meeting, the Board approved 30 new provisional licensees, including 28 qualifying individuals and 2 nonprofit CAURD applicants. To date, at least one CAURD license was granted in each available region of the state.  

The awarding of these CAURD licenses represents the continued implementation of the initial market supply chain as designed by the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, introduced by Governor Kathy Hochul in March 2022.   

License applications will continue to be sent to the Board for its consideration on a rolling basis. To be eligible, applicants were required to either have had a cannabis conviction themselves, or be the family member of someone who has, and have owned a profitable business. Nonprofits were eligible if they had a history of serving current or formerly incarcerated individuals, including creating vocational opportunities for them; have at least one justice-involved board member; at least five full time employees; and have operated a social enterprise that had net assets or profit for at least two years.  

Accordingly, the majority of the CAURD license awardees announced to date are people of color. 

Over the last 30 years, Black New Yorkers were 15 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than white New Yorkers. For Latinos, it was 8 times more likely. Accordingly, the majority of the CAURD license awardees announced to date are people of color. 

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“The Cannabis Control Board is thrilled to provisionally approve a new slate of CAURD licenses that will help continue to position New York as the most inclusive cannabis industry in the country and usher in a new era of economic opportunity,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. “We’re ensuring those most impacted by the unjust enforcement of cannabis prohibition are paving the way for a new industry filled with potential and economic opportunity.”  

“With today’s approvals, the number of provisionally licensed pioneers in the equitable, legal adult-use cannabis industry continues to grow,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. “Starting 2023 with more than 60 provisionally awarded CAURD licenses is a testament to the hard work of all of our licensees, my team at OCM, the Cannabis Control Board, and the support of Governor Hochul.” 

Cannabis Control Board Approves 1 Additional Adult-Use Conditional Processor License, and 5 Laboratory Testing Permits 

The Cannabis Control Board approved 1 additional Adult-Use Cannabis Conditional Processor License raising the total issued by the Board to 40, and the approval of 5 laboratory testing permits bringing the total to 12.  

To be eligible for a conditional processor license, conditional processors must hold a Cannabinoid Hemp Processor License issued by the Office of Cannabis Management and have applied for the license prior to January 1, 2022, through legislation signed by Governor Kathy Hochul in February 2022.  

The application deadline for a conditional processor license was August 31, 2022.  

The Board also approved permits for 5 independent cannabis testing laboratories, which are a critical part of New York’s equity-first supply chain, helping to bring safer cannabis products onto the shelves of New York’s first adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries. The laboratory permits approved today are for: 

Cannabis Control Board finalizes Medical Cannabis Regulations 

Auto Registration to begin March 2023 

Today, the Cannabis Control Board also voted to approve final medical cannabis regulations that will make the patient registration process smoother. After hearing from patients, care providers and other stakeholders, the Office of Cannabis Management made several revisions to the regulations, including:  

·         Streamlining the patient registration process to allow for auto-registration, which is being implemented and will begin in late March 2023;  

·         Revised packaging, labeling, marketing, and advertising regulations to align with proposed regulations for the adult-use cannabis industry;  

·         Requiring pharmacist supervision at dispensing facilities to be fully in-person. 

Cannabis Control Board Appoints General Counsel for Office of Cannabis Management 

The Cannabis Control Board today appointed Linda Baldwin to serve as the General Counsel for the Office of Cannabis Management.  

Ms. Baldwin is an attorney with extensive experience in federal, state, and local government. She currently serves as General Counsel to the Department of State (DOS), a position she has held since 2013. There, she provides legal support and counsel to the Secretary of State, the DOS Executive Team, and leads the Office of General Counsel as it supports the Department’s many program offices and coordinates the Department’s legislative program and regulatory agenda. Linda also serves as the DOS Ethics Officer.  

Before joining the Department of State, Ms. Baldwin served as Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) and as Chief Management Analyst for the NYS Office of Court Administration’s Chief Administrative Judge for Policy and Planning, for whom she planned and implemented groundbreaking mental health and drug treatment court initiatives throughout the state’s Unified Court System.  

Ms. Baldwin began her legal career in private practice, where she focused on commercial and real estate litigation following her clerkship with New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Gary S. Stein.  

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