Licensing Blog

The “Empire State” Faces Further Setbacks in Licensing Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses

The “Empire State” Faces Further Setbacks in Licensing Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses

On August 25th, the Office of Cannabis Management’s (“OCM”) Executive Director, Chris Alexander, ignited concern within New York’s adult-use cannabis industry when he answered an audience member’s question at a Yonkers event regarding the OCM’s timeline for issuing cultivation, processing, and retail cannabis business licenses. As reported by, Alexander’s reply to the audience member was that the applications for the above mentioned businesses will not be available until the “middle of next year.” Alexander further stated, “You’ll see regulations come out sooner – in the next two months or so – but middle of next year you’ll see those applications open for cultivation, for processing, and to do the activities you just laid out.”

This is a far-cry from the what other cannabis regulatory officials have stated prior as the OCM previously stated that the regulations would be completed by the late-winter/ early-spring of this year. Pursuant to New York officials’ prior statements regarding the OCM’s timeline, they were anticipating the opening of the cannabis market within 18 months of October 2021.

With the timeline significantly lagging, the OCM’s pushback has resulted in various consequences not only to those wishing to enter the Empire State’s soon-to-be booming adult-use market, but also to those currently operating under conditional licenses. The founder and CEO of Tonic and co-founder of Tricolla Farms, Brittany Carbone, reported to that she feared the delay could cause New York to run out of legal weed during the adult-use market’s first year. Carbone further detailed obstacles faced by cannabis businesses due to the lack of regulations as she stated, “Investors are a bit hesitant to make any moves quite yet prior to the regulations being released.”

The continuous setbacks in New York’s cannabis regulations are causing substantial consequences to all those either in or wishing to enter the adult-use market. With a population exceeding 19 million, New York is expected to make over $1.3 Billion in adult-use within the first year of operations, as well as between 19,000-24,000 jobs within the first 3 years. With estimates such as these, there is no wonder business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs are upset with the continuous delays.

To stay up-to-date on all things cannabis in New York, check out our New York page. If you wish to enter the New York cannabis market, contact one of our Team members today to discuss your options at