Last-Minute Authorization Keeps New York Marijuana Supply Chain Open

Harris Beach PLLC

Facing a deadline that would have forced the state’s conditional cannabis supply chain to cease operations, New York extended conditional adult-use cultivators and processors’ ability to minimally process and distribute cannabis products in last-minute legislation signed on June 1, 2023.

The Conditional Adult-Use Cultivator and Adult-Use Processor Law allowed conditional adult-use cultivators and processors to “minimally” process and distribute their products through June 1, 2023, at which point they would need to apply for an official distributor and/or processor license. Senate Bill No. 7354 (Hinchey) and Assembly Bill No. 7430 (Peoples-Stokes), signed into law this morning, extends that limited authorization by one year - through June 1, 2024.

The authorization is a lifeline to licensed conditional cultivators and processors, who would have had no legal way to distribute their product had the authorization lapsed. The state’s Office of Cannabis Management has yet to release an application for a distributor license and only about a dozen licensed retailers are available to sell marijuana products.

The rollout of the state’s legal cannabis program has been slowed by legal delays and other red tape. Many cultivators and processors claim they are facing financial turmoil because they can’t sell last season’s harvest.

One proposed law under consideration – the Cannabis Crop Rescue Act – would allow struggling cultivators to sell directly to consumers until Sept. 30, 2023.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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