Six of NY’s Registered Medical Cannabis Companies Receive Adult-Use Licensing Powers

With their first retail stores opening on December 29, preexisting medical marijuana giants will bring their established market power to bear on the surge in adult-use licenses. The Cannabis Control Board has instituted rules on product diversity, however, in the hope of helping small businesses stay competitive. None of the companies have indicated that they’ll open retail shops in Manhattan yet, although that may certainly change next year.

| 12 Dec 2023 | 06:38

New York’s Cannabis Control Board allowed six of the state’s ten “registered” medical marijuana companies to enter the adult-use market on December 8, meaning that established players in the NY cannabis industry may soon bring more legal recreational-use stores to Manhattan. The Office of Cannabis Management, the board’s parent agency, hailed the move.

The medical marijuana companies granted adult-use privileges include: Columbia Care NY, Curaleaf NY, Etain, NYCanna, PharmaCann of New York, and Valley Agriceuticals.

“The approval of medical cannabis operators (registered organizations) to participate in both the medical and adult-use markets highlights their commitment to serve patients and consumers across New York. Furthermore, as we prepare for new adult-use dispensary licensing, we look forward to store openings across the state,” CCB Chairwoman Tremaine Wright said.

It seems none of the medical companies will open adult-use stores in the borough yet, with CCB Wright indicating that 5 of the 6 companies would locate them elsewhere. The new shops will open on December 29.

So far, only one location has been approved per company statewide, although they may apply for up to three licenses. At least some of the license awardees seem to have medical dispensaries in Manhattan, which could end up being important; according to the CCM, the companies will be opening adult-use dispensaries next to already-existing infrastructure.

If they do end up being pursuing Manhattan licenses, this means they may have a leg up in the now-booming legal recreational market, at least when it comes to having an established home base. Alternatively, they might simply end up lost among the surge of license applications spurred on by Governor Kathy Hochul, who has sought to expand the pool of legal shops since October of this year.

A settlement with four veterans that were holding up certain retail licenses has only opened the floodgates wider.

Furthermore, 50 percent of the stock on the new retailer’s shelves must come from other companies. Considering that registered medical companies manufacture the cannabis they dispense, this appears to be a way to address monopolization fears.

There are currently seven licensed retail dispensaries in Manhattan, with 32 statewide. The number of unlicensed and therefore illegal stores is currently far, far higher–hence the push for a licensing boom.