New York’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) has given the green light for six Registered Organisations (ROs) to begin sales in a matter of weeks.
Six RO’s, licensed medical cannabis companies, many of which are some of the country’s leading multi-state operators, will now be able to begin sales in New York from December 29, 2023.
Each of the six companies will now be permitted to sell adult-use cannabis at one of their existing medical cannabis dispensaries by the end of the month, expanding to three locations in the near future.
These stores will also be required to save half of their shelf space for independent cannabis brands which are not owned by any of the ROs in an effort to ensure a measure of diversity, and assuage concerns that this move will impact the fortunes of the states smaller sellers.
This marks the end of a waiting period imposed by the state’s cannabis regulators with a view to providing first-move advantage to social equity businesses and independent sellers.
Despite their intentions, this first-mover advantage was made largely redundant as a number of lawsuits prevented these smaller businesses from being licences.
The proliferation of hundreds of unlicensed stores in the state has largely forced the hand of the CCB to accelerate approvals and enable more legitimately licensed shops to open in an effort to tackle the illicit market.
In an effort to rectify this delay which prevented independent businesses from moving forward, a ‘growers showcase’ initiative was set up enabling cultivators to sell their products in farmers market-style events.
The CCB also announced that these showcases would not continue after January 1, suggesting it was always intended as a stopgap.
The ROs which received licences included:
- Columbia Care NY
- Curaleaf NY LLC
- Etain LLC, owned by Riv Capital
- NYCANNA LLC, owned by Acreage Holdings Inc.
- PharmaCann of New York LLC
- Valley Agriceuticals LLC, owned by Cresco Labs