New York Eases Restrictions on Cannabis Dispensary Locations

New York Eases Restrictions on Cannabis Dispensary Locations
High Times

The New York Office of Cannabis Management eased restrictions on the locations for the state’s first cannabis dispensaries last week, allowing the business owners to choose the site for their retail operation. Before the change, the new business owners were required to accept a retail location assigned by a government agency. The change, which comes only three weeks before licensed retail sales of recreational marijuana are slated to begin in New York, gives new retail cannabis dispensaries licensees flexibility in choosing the location for the business provided they obtain state approval. The new policy is also expected to ease the burden placed on the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), the agency tasked with providing new cannabis business owners with access to financing and real estate to launch their businesses. The change was announced by the state’s cannabis regulatory agency, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), in a statement on Friday, according to a report from The New York Times. Last month, the OCM announced that the first three dozen Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses had been issued to 28 individuals with past marijuana-related convictions and eight nonprofit organizations serving people with past arrests or convictions for marijuana offenses. Under the plan, the licensees are eligible for a turnkey dispensary site to locate their businesses. But so far, DASNY has struggled to secure and prepare the retail storefronts needed to launch the 175 cannabis dispensaries planned under the CAURD license program, leading to doubts that retail sales will begin before the end of the year. Damian Fagon, the OCM’s chief equity officer, said that the agency made the change after conferring with the first business owners awarded licenses, many of whom expressed a desire for more flexibility with the site for their shops. The decision also…

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