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New York marijuana regulators on Wednesday approved dozens of conditional adult-use dispensary licenses in a session during which members also discussed adopting bylaws for how the board runs meetings and makes decisions.
The Cannabis Control Board – which now includes newly appointed member Dr. Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins – approved 30 new Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses, and one new Adult-Use Conditional Processing license. The board also permitted five additional laboratories to do cannabis testing.
“We are so excited to continue to roll out this CAURD program,” said Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander, who noted that CAURD licensee Smacked this week opened the state’s first dispensary owned by a justice-involved individual. “We’re really excited to see these folks get up and running.”
Most of the new licenses approved went to dispensaries that will be located in NYC (15), Long Island (6), and the Capital Region (3). With Wednesday’s tranche of CAURD licensees, the state has now approved 66 conditional dispensary licenses.
Board members also filed updated medical cannabis regulations, which will take effect once published in the State Register – which OCM health and safety director Nicole Quackenbush said will likely happen on Feb. 15.
Before CCB members voted to file the new regulations to the State Register, Quackenbush pointed out the streamlining of the patient registration process as a highlight. Under the new rules, patients who are approved for medical cannabis are automatically registered into the state program, rather than having to enroll in the program themselves. Automatic registration should start in March, Quackenbush said.
“We’ve been waiting a long time to have this auto registration in place, and I know it’s going to make a world of difference,” CCB member Jessica Garcia said.
Board members also discussed adopting bylaws for the CCB, which would set up formal processes for how members run meetings and reach decisions. Since its first meeting in October of 2021, the body has operated without formal bylaws.
After board Chair Tremaine Wright opened the session to discussion of draft bylaws, Garcia said the board should get an opinion from counsel and discuss among themselves how they can create a system that works for OCM and CCB, and follows the law.
“I think it does require careful review to make sure that we’re honoring the spirit of MRTA,” Garcia said. “I would also love to engage in conversation with the board in terms of our own process for decision making.”
Member Adam Perry added that it would also make sense to give new member Gilbert a chance to make suggestions before the CCB votes on bylaws. Wright and CCB member Reuben McDaniel both said they hope the board votes on bylaws during next month’s meeting.
The board’s discussion on putting in place formal meeting procedures came days after a state committee that monitors transparency among New York’s government agencies dinged the OCM and CCB for possibly violating some aspects of New York’s Open Meetings Law.
Here’s an updated list of New York’s CAURD licensees:
Here’s an updated list of New York’s conditional processor licensees: