On February 22, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law S.8084-A/A.9283-A, which created a new Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator license, authorizing eligible hemp farmers in the state to apply for a license to grow cannabis for upcoming adult-use sales, which are expected to begin in fall 2022 or early 2023. The application period for a New York conditional cultivator license opened March 15, 2022 and closes June 30, 2022. The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) approved 36 applications in April, an additional 52 new applications just last week, and continues to review and accept applications on a rolling basis. With less than two months left to apply, don’t miss the opportunity to be one of the first legal cannabis cultivators in the state!
Refresher on licensure qualifications
A cultivator must:
- Have held a valid industrial hemp grower authorization from the State Department of Agriculture and Markets (the Department) as of 12/31/21 and be in good standing with the Department;
- Have grown and harvested hemp pursuant to the above authorization for at least two of the past four years, and be able to provide proof of the amount of hemp planted during the two years hemp was grown;
- Individual applicants must have an ownership interest of 51% or more; entity applicants must have an ownership interest of 51% or more of the entity that is the licensee.
- Participate in a social equity mentorship program
- Participate in an environmental sustainability program
Applicants must pay a $2,000 non-refundable Application and Licensing Fee as part of the application process. Additionally, within six months of licensure, the Office of Cannabis Management will require licensees to enter into a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization actively engaged in representing applicant’s employees.
What conditional licensure allows
Conditional cultivator licensure authorizes cannabis cultivation both outdoors or in a greenhouse, with up to 43,560 square feet of outdoor canopy or 23,000 square feet in a greenhouse permitted. Cultivation may occur both indoors and in a greenhouse, provided the greenhouse is less than 20,000 square feet, and total canopy is equal to or less than 30,000 square feet. Cultivation is only permitted within the same or an adjacent county where the licensee was previously authorized to grow hemp by the Department.
Conditional licensure also authorizes licensees to temporarily manufacture and distribute cannabis products, provided final products are in flower form, without holding a processor or distributor license. These privileges end June 1, 2023, provided the licensee complies with all manufacturing and distribution regulations. After June 1, 2023, any cultivator seeking to manufacture and distribute cannabis products must apply for and receive a formal processor and distributor license.
No later than 90 days before a conditional cultivator license expires, the Office of Cannabis Management will review the license to determine good standing. Any licensee in good standing and who meets any additional requirements or regulations in place at that time will be eligible to apply for and receive a formal cultivator license. The license will cover the canopy size licensed under the conditional license or a larger canopy size as set out by CCB regulations.
A conditional cultivation license offers a unique and lucrative opportunity for New York hemp farmers to be some of the first legal cannabis cultivators in the state. If you are a hemp farmer in New York who meets the qualifications for licensure, you have less than two months to apply for a license before the opportunity disappears. For assistance with the application process or if you have questions regarding licensure qualifications, contact our New York-licensed attorneys, Perry Salzhauer, Brittany Adikes, and Ramsey Chamie, at Green Light Law Group for legal advice. To stay informed on all matters related to cannabis, CBD, hemp, and psilocybin, check out our blog.
You can contact Allison Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-488-5424.
This news article is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to give legal advice. Attorney Advertising.