New York Approves First 36 Cannabis Stores – Here is the list
These are the non-profit organizations and companies controlled by individuals with New York cannabis beliefs that will lead the adult use market.
On a historic day in Harlem, New York’s adult cannabis market took a step closer to its launch. This morning, state regulators voted to grant NY’s first 36 dispensary licenses to businesses and nonprofits hardest hit by the state’s grotesque past regarding marijuana prohibition.
Eight non-profit organizations and 28 members of the judiciary accepted conditional recreational dispensary licenses (CAURD) for adult use at the public board meeting of the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).
“These are the types of individuals and organizations that the MRTA (Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act) has designated as the foundation of our industry… We will continue to issue licenses on an ongoing basis as we have done with other types of licenses.”
Chris Alexander, OCM Managing Director
The OCM said this first group of licensees was the best in class, selected from a total of 903 applications submitted between August 25 and September 26. The state will license an additional 122 companies and 17 nonprofit organizations from the first wave of CAURD applications.
These are the first 36 pharmacy license holders in New York
(New York Bureau of Cannabis Management)
- Capital District Cannabis & Wellness Inc – Capital Region
- William Durham – South Tier
- D-Andrews LLC – Capital Region
- Cloud NYC LLC – The Bronx
- Gabby Green LLC – Queens
- Essential flowers – Capital Region
- Brian Stark Enterprises LLC – Long Island
- Albert D Capraro – Long Island
- Strain Stars LLC – Long Island
- On Point Cannabis, Inc. – Binhamton
- Smacked LLC – Manhattan
- Brent L Rogers – North County
- Root 13, LLC – Long Island
- Gabriel Marin – Manhattan
- Housing Works Cannabis LLC – New York City
- Florisun LLC – Manhattan
- growth industries – Long Island
- The Doe Funds LLC – New York City
- Carl M Anderson III – The Bronx
- Royal Leaf NY LLC – The Bronx
- Keep it at 100 LLC – Long Island
- CGG Enterprises Inc – Queens
- HEALED NY, LLC – Mohawk Valley
- Kush & Kemet, LLC – Queens
- Urban Weed LLC – Queens
- GOTHAM CAURD LLC – New York City
- CWS Holdings I, LLC – Ithaca
- EASTERN HOLDINGS 88 LIC – Staten Island
- PLANET 51 LLC – Manhattan
- Stage One Cannabis LLC – Capital Region
- Suzanne M. Furboter – Queens
- NYCCABUDS – Center for Community alternatives – NYC, Rochester and Syracuse
- Anthony Crapanzano – Queens
- SAMJNY Holdings LLC – Staten Island
- Union Chill Cannabis NY LLC – South Tier
- hydrophones – Long Island
These retail licenses will close the loop for New York’s adult-use cannabis supply chain, which already hosts dozens of growers and processors and reportedly has $750 million worth of legally grown cannabis on the supply side of the industry.
Next, the first class of awardees must now submit a secondary sub-application showing approval from a municipality before receiving a full license. The state plans to deploy a $200 million fund to help these companies get back on their feet quickly, potentially ahead of a long-promised end-of-2022 deadline Pharmacies commissioned for the state were named last week.
More retail CAURD application windows are expected to open over the next year.
BREAKING: In a historic decision, the #NYCCB has approved the first round of CAURD licensees.
28 people dedicated to justice and 8 nonprofits will make the first adult sales by New York farmers, bringing countless opportunities to our communities. #NYCCB
— NYS Office of Cannabis Management (@nys_cannabis) November 21, 2022
Why is New York Issuing First Licenses to People With Cannabis Convictions?
“Nowhere in this country has cannabis prohibition been more systematically weaponized,” Damian Fagon, OCM’s chief equity officer, said at Monday’s board meeting. Fagon unveiled new state research showing the state had 1.2 million marijuana arrests between 1980 and 2020, with nearly 400,000 convictions. The vast majority of those affected were black.
According to a publication by the OCM, “Black New Yorkers were 15 times more likely than white New Yorkers to have been arrested for cannabis over the past 30 years. Latinos were eight times more likely. Accordingly, the majority of the licensees announced today are People of Color.”
In 2018, state documents reported, “New York’s 2010 marijuana arrest rate of 535 arrests per 100,000 people was the highest of any state and double the national average.” The state’s report on how criminal records impeded the lives of New Yorkers, continued, “(2010) there were 103,698 arrests for marijuana possession in NYS — 29,000 more than Texas, the state with the second highest total.”
“The low-level impact of marijuana crimes extends beyond the use of law enforcement and criminal justice resources. Individuals with criminal records often face lifelong challenges accessing employment and qualifying for federal housing. Marijuana-related beliefs have a lasting effect.”
New York State Report Assessing Potential Impacts of Cannabis Legalization
Here’s how New York will position these dispensaries for success
According to the latest rules released on Sunday, vertically integrated companies are prohibited from opening pharmacies for the first three years after the first day of legal sale. Those rules are still awaiting revision after two months of public comment, but New York regulators have remained steadfast in their intention to cultivate a cannabis market akin to the state’s wine and spirits markets.
In order to achieve the goal of a consumer-oriented market, the state plans to enforce a strict separation between providers and dealers. This means that no parties can have ownership of the division of the utility and retail tiers.
OCM Chief of Staff Axel Bernabe gave this example Monday to illustrate: “You can’t have a Budweiser beer store. You can’t have a Jack Daniel’s liquor store.” The state wants to see the same for the cannabis industry because it means buyers, not big corporations, decide which products are successful.
The law will also ban pay-for-placement shelf arrangements that could give large companies undue leverage at any point in the seed-to-sale process. OCM Chief Executive Alexander said on Monday that these regulations “will ensure that the rich and well-connected do not dominate the market” while encouraging licensees to focus on positive community and environmental impacts. The regulations are also intended to encourage investment and competitiveness in the retail market.
“Nobody else in the country but Washington [state] does this,” explained Bernabe. “It’s a very progressive, aggressive approach.” The OCM chief of staff added that exceptions to the two-tier regime will exist, such as micro-licenses for artisan farmers who can grow, sell and supply their own produce under certain restrictions.
Because no retailer can operate more than three stores and no farmer can stack licenses, CAURD licensees have the freedom to choose the products they believe customers will most want to buy.
No pharmacies in Brooklyn, Central New York and other regions for the time being
Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit will delay the issuance of pharmacy licenses in Brooklyn, Finger Lakes, Central NY, Western NY and Mid-Hudson. This signals that at least 63 of the 175 planned new dispensaries will be held back under geographic boundaries set by the state earlier this year.
Plaintiff, Variscite NY One, alleges that the OCM’s pharmacy license application program discriminates against out-of-state operators and blocks interstate commerce, a direct violation of the Dormant Commerce Clause, which prevents states from compromising their own economies to a healthy national market to prefer .
The OCM declined to comment on the ongoing litigation, but said it plans to move forward with issuing licenses in unaffected regions until things are settled in court.
These are the applicants who have spoken publicly about their licenses so far:
- LIFE Camp, a nonprofit Erica Ford founded in 2002 to reduce violence and arrests in southeast Queens, is the black women-led nonprofit organization set to get licensed, according to the New York Times.
- Center for Community Alternatives, a Syracuse-based nonprofit that provides statewide alternatives to incarceration for arrested individuals and reentry services for individuals returning from jail and jail.
- Three claimants were assisted by the Bronx Defenders legal team, including a Bronx family and a Long Island man and a Queens man.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.