NY Cannabis Portal Opens Tomorrow!

Originally Published : October 3, 2023




The portal to apply for cannabis licenses will open tomorrow, October 4th, and the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) continues to keep us on our toes with a few new key factors that you need to understand.

Community board notifications, randomizing the application order, and the OCM’s idea of a fair evaluation process are all heating up on the front burners this week. 

It’s Cannabis Eve and in true NY fashion, the OCM released guidance this weekend and the details are make-or-break-your-application level stuff.

Community Boards
To apply for an annual retail dispensary license, the OCM announced this weekend that applicants are required to notify the Community Board in which their premises is located at least 30 days before filing their application. This means that if you want to apply for expedited review, which has a deadline of November 3 – you need to notify your community board today. This incredibly tight turnaround will not be doable for most, so you may need to pivot if your plan included being a part of that expedited review pool.

Randomizing the Application Order
The OCM also announced that once applications have been collected during the window for submissions, and have been sorted based on license type, SEE (Social and Economic Equity) certification, and provisional status – a randomization process will then be applied, meaning you can’t guarantee you’ll get a spot at the front of the line by getting your application in faster than others.  No FIFO rules being respected here.

The Awarding Process
Once your application is in and randomized and finally has a spot in line, there’s one more worry to consider – even if you get your application into the expedited pool, and even if you’re a social & economic equity candidate. It looks likely that once the OCM begins reviewing applications, they will be awarding licenses as they go, instead of reviewing all applications and then selecting the top ones to be awarded. This means that if your #501 in line, and the first 500 applications are considered worthy of a license, you may not even get reviewed.

For all of these reasons and more, you need to be on top of your application, and you need to make sure you’ve got the right team assembled to help you through this obstacle course of an application process. It’s crucial to have people on hand who can advise you of when and how to pivot to position yourself for the greatest chance of success. As always, we’re here for you, so give us a call at 212-219-1193 or email me at [email protected]

Joey Regs Out