Today, the New York State Cannabis Control Board provisionally approved 99 more Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses, increasing total provisional retail-dispensary licenses to 165 from Harlem to Hollis.
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.
The licenses included four for Western New York, one for Central New York, five for Mid-Hudson, and three for Brooklyn, marking the first provisional licenses to be issued in these regions following last week’s modification of a court injunction that had prevented the Board from issuing them.
To date, the Board has granted at least one CAURD provisional license in each region other than the Finger Lakes, which remains blocked by the injunction.
The awarding of these CAURD provisional licenses represents the continued commitment to the 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 consideration on a rolling basis. To be eligible, applicants themselves were required to either have had a cannabis conviction 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.
As stated in the MRTA, marijuana laws had disproportionately impacted African-American and Latinx communities. For the past 30 years, Black individuals in New York have been 15 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related offenses than their white counterparts. For Latinos, it was 8 times more likely. These arrests perpetuated a cycle of poverty in Black and Brown communities. Accordingly, the criteria for obtaining a CAURD license included having been impacted by the enforcement of the prohibition of cannabis.
“We are proud of today’s approval of 99 CAURD provisional licenses, marking a vast expansion of the Seeding Opportunity Initiative as we continue to build an equitable market that offsets harms caused by cannabis prohibition and its disproportionate enforcement,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. These new licenses will allow entrepreneurs to fairly participate in the legal market while promoting innovation and creative diversity throughout New York’s ever-growing cannabis supply chain and we’re thankful for the ongoing support of Governor Hochul and the Legislature for helping us reach this day.”
“We are thrilled to announce the addition of 99 more CAURD provisional licenses as we continue to work swiftly and equitably to establish New York’s cannabis industry,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. “The approval of these licenses will help expedite building a robust and diverse supply chain while also ensuring that individuals that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition have meaningful opportunities to participate in the industry.”
The Cannabis Control Board approved 1 additional laboratory permit today for Certainty Analytical Labs in Rochester, bringing the total number of laboratories permitted to conduct adult-use and medical cannabis testing in New York State to 13.
The approval of this permit serves as 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.