- Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License (CAURD) licensees will be the first retail dispensaries to open for legal adult-use cannabis sales in the state.
- Applicants can choose to apply under the qualifying business criteria or the qualifying non profit criteria.
- Having a significant presence in New York just means that at least 30 percent of the owner must have residency (live in), assets (vehicles, land, etc.), real property (this includes primary, secondary, and/or rental homes), a bank account, or some other connection with or in the state.
New York State cannabis regulators approved rules in July governing how applications for the first batch of adult-use cannabis retail licenses will be meted out. According to Marijuana Moment, these applications will start with those who have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war.
According to the New York State Office of Cannabis Management website, Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License (CAURD) licensees will be the first retail dispensaries to open for legal adult-use cannabis sales in the state, establishing businesses owned by justice-involved individuals at the bedrock of the state’s adult-use cannabis market. CAURD licensees are positioned to make New York’s first legal cannabis sales before the end of 2022, speeding the delivery of investments into communities across the state that were impacted by disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.
The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) also signed off on a mockup of the conditional adult-use retail license application, as well as revised regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program. These applications have the potential of opening up very soon, so if you are interested in becoming a part of this growing market, read on to find more information on how you can qualify and apply for a license.
What Are the Qualifications?
There are two sets of eligibility criteria. Applicants can choose to apply under the qualifying business criteria or the qualifying non profit criteria. To be eligible under the qualifying business criteria, at least 30 percent of the applicant must be owned by an individual who is/has:
- Justice involved
- Qualifying business experience
- Sole control of the applicant
- Significant presence in New York State
Any business—regardless of its business structure—can apply for a license. Having a significant presence in New York just means that at least 30 percent of the owner must have residency (live in), assets (vehicles, land, etc.), real property (this includes primary, secondary, and/or rental homes), a bank account, or some other connection with or in the state. When you submit your application, you will also need to include documentation evidencing the eligibility criteria.
How and Where Can You Apply?
When it is live, the online application will be located within New York State Business Express (NYBE). If you already have a NYBE Business Profile, then you will need to apply using the NY.GOV login that is linked to the existing NYBE profile. If you do not have a NYBE Business Profile, then you will need to create a NYBE Business Profile using a NY.GOV login to start your application.
License Scoring Criteria
For those eligible under the qualifying business criteria, the applications will be scored based on specific factors relating to the justice involved individual with sole control of the applicant and the qualifying business ownership. Factors that will be weighted more heavily in application scoring include:
- If the marihuana-related conviction was on the justice-involved owner with sole control themselves or a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or dependent.
- If the relevant arrest occurred in an area that has been negatively impacted by over policing and mass incarceration, or has historically low median household incomes.
- If the qualifying business has similar characteristics to a cannabis dispensary, such as the sale of retail goods, inventory management, a physical store, and paid employees.
- The strength of the applicant’s qualifying business experience, as judged by length of time in operation, size of the business, net revenue, and compliance with state and local laws, rules and regulations.
Applicants may be ineligible if any owner has a history of felonies and/or other criteria outlined in Section 137 of the Cannabis Law. Applicants may also be ineligible if any owner has had a cannabis license revoked or suspended in another state, if the nonprofit status of the organization operating the social enterprise has ever been revoked or suspended, inability of the applicant to provide documentation proving the minimum eligibility criteria, or for other reasons determined by the Cannabis Control Board. Additionally, no individual under the age of 21 years old is permitted to have an interest in any CAURD licensee.
New York regulators still have to develop regulations for the broader pool of retail applicants in the state’s cannabis industry. The first dispensaries are expected to open by the end of the year, with others following in early 2023, according to Gothamist.
For more information on CAURD, visit cannabis.ny.gov/caurd.