New York Cannabis: The Retail Dispensary Municipal Notice
Written by on September 14, 2023
New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) requires anyone applying for a retail dispensary or on-site consumption license to submit a notice of their intention to apply to the municipality (or community board in New York City) at least 30 days prior to submitting the application. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and Cannabis Control Board (CCB) included that requirement in the final adult-use rules and regulations (Section 119.3).
Here are the specifics:
the notification must be made between thirty (30) and two hundred seventy (270) days prior to filing an application; and
the notification “shall be in a form provided by the [OCM].”
Here’s why the New York municipal notice requirement is suddenly pressing: during the September 12, 2023 CCB meeting it was announced that the license application portal for retail dispensaries will open on October 4, 2023, with review of retail dispensary applications that include secured real estate to start on November 3, 2023. That means that, basically, any prospective applicant for a retail dispensary license needs to submit the notification to it’s municipality (assuming it has already secured real estate), like now.
Here is why the notification requirement is an issue: that little reference to a “form provided by the [OCM].” As of this writing, the New York OCM has not provided a form municipal notice for the general adult-use application. The OCM’s website has an entire section devoted to notifying a municipality or community board; the attached form is for CAURD provisional licensees and expressly states that the applicant has “obtained a provision license from the Cannabis Control Board[.]” Clearly, the provided form is not applicable for general adult-use applicants.
To recap, the MRTA and adult-use rules and regulations require the OCM’s “form” to be submitted at least 30 days prior to submitting the application (that 30 day period is likely fast approaching), but no such form currently exists. We took the liberty of asking the OCM about the form and were advised that “the form could change in the future when non-conditional licenses are rolled out” and that “[c]urrently, we have no other form in this regard.”
Of course, you can always modify the OCM’s form to make sure a timely submission is made (not so easy in PDF, but doable), but some community boards have already stated that they will not accept a modified form and it is jarring (albeit unsurprising) that the general application portal is scheduled to open and a required form that must be submitted imminently (accordingly to the timeline) does not yet exist. If you are considering applying for a New York retail dispensary license, we strongly urge you to consult an attorney.
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