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New York Regulator Issues Guidance For Cannabis Retailers

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Nov 01, 2022   
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Recreational cannabis retailers in New York will have to be separated from the plant’s production under new guidance issued by state regulators.

Published on October 28 by the state’s Cannabis Control Board, the new guidance bans vertically integrated operations in New York and details many more requirements for adult-use businesses.

Dispensaries cannot present themselves as a medical business (no mention of terms like “pharmacy” or “medicine”) and cannot appeal to consumers aged under 21 via branding.

Adult-use retailers will also be required to train their staff in “the history of cannabis use” as well as the drug’s physical effects on the body, “appropriate responses in the event of overconsumption”, and safe storage practices.

Dispensaries will be permitted to sell their own branded merchandise, but not merchandise of other companies, including cannabis product brands.

Businesses will have to keep up-to-date records and use an inventory tracking system capable of compiling product inventories, transaction data, and tax information.

Drive-thru service windows/pick-up lanes will be allowed, but permission must be secured from the Office of Cannabis Management. Any cannabis business interested in operating a delivery service must also own all the vehicles used for delivery.

Retailers must also adhere to specific security, location, and store layout rules. Further information can be found in the issued guidance document.

For now, the guidance itself remains that, guidance. But its proposals are expected to be confirmed soon by New York’s Office of Cannabis Management. Any businesses not in compliance will “risk their license being cancelled”, according to the Office.

New York’s legal recreational cannabis market was promised last March, when then-Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a cannabis legalization bill. In a more recent statement, the current governor, Kathy Hochul, said that the state is “on track” to open the market by the end of the year.


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