We reported in early December 2023 that New York state officials settled litigation that was holding up the New York Office of Cannabis Management’s (OCM) Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licensing program. With the settlement approved by the State Supreme Court on December 1, the state was able to move license applications forward and approve store openings before the end of the year.
Prior to the injunction being lifted, only 26 licensed retailers had gained permission to operate. Now, according to OCM’s website, there are 38 licensed storefronts allowed to open and make sales to adult consumers, an almost 50% increase in about three weeks.
With over 400 CAURD license applicants still in the pipeline, it appears possible that dozens more stores could open quickly in the coming weeks and months. Additionally, New York regulators just closed a general adult use cannabis business licensing round earlier this week, on December 18, which should eventually lead to even more permitted businesses operating and growing the Empire State’s legal market, which has been quite limited this year due to litigation.
However, earlier this week another lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court against New York cannabis regulators over the state’s adult use licensing process. According to Green Market Report, the plaintiffs – who are entities connected to a company that previously sued the state over adult use licensing – are seeking inclusion in the “extra priority” pool of the recently-closed general licensing round. The lawsuit asks the court to enjoin New York officials from issuing any additional licenses until the case is resolved.
According to a December 18 OCM newsletter, $127.4 million in legal cannabis sales have been made in New York year-to-date in 2023. Of that total, $4.5 million was generated by Cannabis Growers Showcases – temporary “farmers market”-type events – while the rest of the sales were made through licensed storefronts.