The number of adult use cannabis farmers in New York state continues to climb.
At its Thursday meeting, which was among the shortest to date, the Cannabis Control Board awarded another 36 conditional adult use cultivator licenses, bringing its total to 88. The cannabis that these farmers grow will be the first batch sold to adult use consumers. And, according to what Board Chair Tremaine Wright said during the meeting, that’s expected to take place “later this year.”
So far, the Office of Cannabis Management, within which the Board sits, has received more than 200 applications for these conditional licenses. It will continue to accept applications until the end of June, regulators said. These licenses are not indefinite, and these licensees will have to reapply under the permanent adult use program, once those rules are finalized.
“So far, this has had a tremendous impact in our communities statewide,” Wright said during the meeting, referring to allocation of these licenses.
In February, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill allowing the state’s hemp farmers to cultivate and distribute cannabis for adult use. These existing hemp license holders have so far only been able to grow or process cannabis plants containing .3% THC or less, which is the legal differentiator between cannabis plants that are considered “hemp” and those that are often referred to as “marijuana.”
Office of Cannabis Management executive director Chris Alexander gave an update on the application approvals and said that there’s “another 100 or so that can be coming along the pipeline quickly.”
“We’re excited to get the growing season underway and to enable our farmers, our small farmers,” said Alexander, “to continue to provide a foundation for the market.”
Alexander also went over the state’s public education campaign, called Cannabis Conversations, which launched in April, and is currently on display from TV ads to signs on New York City’s subways.
Wright said that she “took the A train the other day, and the train was wrapped in Cannabis Control Board messaging.”