Updated: Jul 23
The Provisional Licenses would ensure that products will be available for customers the day dispensaries are permitted to open their doors.
Bill "S7295" recently introduced by New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney seeks to prevent the foreseeable and otherwise all-but-inevitable production delays in New York's emerging adult-use industry by establishing adult-use cultivator "provisional licenses" which would permit cannabis growers to begin planting cannabis crops by early next year.
The bill aims to permit qualifying cannabis growers to begin planting seeds during the next growing season, so that the 2022 season’s economic benefits are not delayed, by having licensed and opened cannabis dispensaries with empty shelves.
Building-out a cannabis cultivation facility can take months, if not years.
Even after they're fully built out, the crops themselves can take up to six months to mature. Finally there's the subsequent "curing" process, which, when taken into account, appear to make it all but certain that newly licensed businesses, won't have flower product available for sale to consumers until long after the selected "winning" businesses are awarded their adult-use licenses.
The bill aims to ensure that the moment new dispensaries are licensed, cannabis products will be ready for New York's 20 million residents and 200+ million visitors.
Something as historic as the birth of New York's adult-use cannabis business industry requires that the legislators execute the roll out of this program as seamlessly as possible.
Fast-tracking the cultivation licenses will also serve the dual purpose of protecting the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for new start-ups and small businesses from being hamstrung and outpaced by the ten well-established Registered Organizations.
Nine out of the ten New York medical cannabis "Registered Organizations" are owned by large multi-state cannabis operators and/or international public companies which are already poised to capitalize on New York's emerging Adult-use market.
Their cultivation and process facilities are massive and are already fully built out, employed, operating and in most instances expanding their production facilities (https://www.newcannabisventures.com/columbia-care-to-buy-new-york-greenhouse-for-42-5-million/), and their number of retail locations from four already built out and operating dispensaries to another four more locations!
The newly formed Office of Cannabis Management ("OCM") is currently "deep in the weeds" working on finalizing the regulations and guidelines for the application for and issuance of licenses for cannabis cultivation, processing, distribution, dispensing and even retail consumption sites.
However, while the OCM dots all the I's and crosses all the T's, the small businesses hoping to get a chance to participate in the business opportunities are losing out on critical time which they could otherwise be using to set up their operations to have a chance to compete with these large established businesses.
Let's hope this Bill passes. If not for the sake of social equity, then at least for the sake of tax dollars.
The sooner these businesses get up and running, the sooner they start making regulated sales, and the sooner they start paying taxes.
A copy of the proposed Bill S7295 is available below: