The Future of Cannabis in New York

Originally Published : April 2, 2021

Cannabis is now legal in NY and we are ecstatic that the hospitality industry has a new member. Let’s welcome all cannabis professionals to the club and encourage them to join us in providing warmth, comfort, good vibes and mood and mind altering substances to our beloved customers and guests here in NYC.  

Is it legitimate to slot cannabis under the umbrella of the hospitality industry?  Hellz yeah!  Dispensaries will sell pot to the public just like wine and liquor stores sell us booze with budtenders stepping in for the wine geeks.  Flower Hosts will be the new somms at our cannabis cafes and will help us navigate the cannabis list by regaling us with the provenance, flavor and type of high provided by particular strains and methods as they steer us to the right flower, oils, gummies, cookies, or dabs (look it up, it’s fun).  Imagine vapes and pipes being pulled, spliffs and blunts being puffed and sipping on a cannabis cocktail while. you’re awesome handcrafted play list permeates and looking around at everyone just being sooooo relaxed and chill.  Feels good doesn’t it?

All of this canna activity will be undertaken with the goal of providing the public with a meaningful, interactive and fun experience which can only be adequately accomplished with the kindness, warmth, skill and generosity that are the very hallmarks and crux of  the hospitality industry.  So yeah, cannabis belongs and we welcome it with open arms and droopy eyes,.

And behold the opportunities!  Restaurant and bar people will learn to expand their palates and recipes as they learn to work with new, exciting ingredients in their cooking and beverages.  Think canna meal pairings and infused butters and oils, canna catering and B&B’s  (Buds and Breakfasts).  And FOH people will devise interesting and novel ways to best present this new style of hospitality to the public. Tableside Canna Carts and Designer Dab Rigs and customized rolling machines and two liter boot bongs.  The possibilities are vast and innovation will flourish in this brand spanking new industry.  Hospitality legends will be born.

And here he is, the man leading the HL Cannabis Group, Mr. Levey with the latest.

Joey Regs says…

The Recreational Marijuana Bill just flew through the Chambers and Cuomo couldn’t sign it fast enough. There’s a man who needs a win.  Now, let’s watch what President Biden does with MJ on the federal level.  Hearing positive things and more on that later.  Now, let’s get to it and answer the burning question….

What’s the future of Cannabis Licenses in New York?  Well, we know that the bill lays out a number of different license classes and it has provided some broad strokes for what future commerce might look like.  Popular license types of note include:

– Cultivation (growing & harvesting the plants)
– Manufacturing (essentially turning the flower into a product – i.e. oil, edibles, pre-rolls)
– Distribution (Just like the alcohol model – think Southern & Empire)
– Retail Dispensary (retail store, that can sell product to the public age 21+)
– Social Consumption Lounge (like a cigar lounge, but for cannabis)
– Delivery (details are still being negotiated, but this is self-explanatory)
– Lab Testing Facility (locations which will be charged with independently testing product)

While I wouldn’t expect license applications to become available before January 1, 2022, this is certainly the time to start exploring if/how you may want to get involved in the space.  Feel free to email me at: [email protected]

Joey Regs out

There’s lots of money floating around out there for the industry and it can be tough to follow it all.  Lucky for us, the cool accounting team at Scotto & Melchiorre is tracking it all and here is their latest report.

Restaurant Money Update: by Scotto & Melchiorre, CPA’s

Restaurant Grant – Registration No Longer Required

As of March 30, 2021, the SBA announced that restaurant owners who seek to participate in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund will not need to sign up for a account or be required to have a DUNS number. There will be no effect on your Restaurant Grant application if you have already begun or completed the process of registering for either DUNS or

EIDL – Loan Increases and Deferred Payments

Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the EIDL loan limit is increasing with a maximum loan amount of $500,000 (previously, $150,000). If you have received a loan with limitations of the $150,000, no further action is needed on your end at this time. The SBA will reach out directly to applications via email to provide more details on how loan increases can be requested. Any new EIDL applications that are processed moving forward will be subject to receive up to $500,000. If your amount exceeds $200,000, you will be required to personally guarantee the loan.

Additionally, the SBA announced that the deferment periods for loan payments have been extended until 2022. For loans made in 2020, the first payment will become due 24-months from the date of the note. For loans made in 2021, the first payment will become due 18-months from the date of the note. This deferment period does not defer interest accumulating on the loan, only the timing of first payment due date.

PPP – Extension

On Tuesday, March 30, the President signed into law an extension for PPP applications pushing the deadline to apply from March 31 to May 31. With this, the SBA was provided additional time to process and authorize loans through June 30. Most banks have already prepared for this extension and will continue to accept PPP loan applications through the new extended deadline.

Employee Retention Credit – Extension

The ERC is extended to apply to qualified wages paid during Q3 & Q4 2021 (originally only applied from Q1 2020 through Q2 2021). The amount of the credit in 2021 is generally 70% of qualified wages. Each employee is limited to qualified wages of up to $10,000 per quarter, equaling a credit of up to $7,000 per employee, per quarter. To qualify, you must have significant decline in revenues or a full/partial shutdown of operations. Between 2020 and Q1 2021, we have filed ERC of over $6 million for our clients.

As Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen liked to say: HALLELUJAH!!!