Open discussion forum to address challenges & work on solutions and ideas

We've partnered up with a professional mediation firm to help guide discussions on frustrations that industry members are experiencing here in New York State. You'll have a chance to speak openly and have your voice heard. Once we dive deep into the issues, we'll spend the afternoon finding solutions and ways to solve some of the most pressing issues.

Concurrent to the open forum, we'll host informative breakout sessions where you can learn more about what's next in the industry and best practices for cannabis business owners!

Read on for the problems that we'll be discussing on site. We've include some resources and articles that will help to explain a bit more in depth into the topic at hand. If you're not a current subscriber to NY Cannabis Insider, we are giving you a one-month free subscription so you can access this important content prior to the event.

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Problem #1: The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York

DASNY is a massive but opaque quasi-government agency that has a huge hand in the initial rollout of NY's cannabis industry: they were tasked with finding a fund manager to raise $200M for the CAURD program; with finding a bank for these retailers to use; for hiring design/build firms for CAURD real estate; and for contracting with a point-of-sale technology company to service CAURD stores.

But DASNY has failed at both the $200M fundraising and banking. As a result, much of the current collective frustration among the state's retailers (and others) is directed toward the agency.

And just last week, a group of CAURD licensees laid out in detail 13 grievances they have with the agency, including the lack of funds available, how the agency competes against license holders for real estate, the slow speed at which DASNY approves sites, the lack of loan terms available, high rents, exorbitant and unnecessarily large real estate options, and much more. The next day, the Cannabis Association of New York backed the CAURD letter, and added in an allegation of a conflict of interest for DASNY's President Reuben McDaniel, who also sits on the Cannabis Control Board.

Who this affects primarily:

  • Every aspect of the supply chain in addition to ancillary service providers


Related: ‘Discontent and despair’: NY cannabis entrepreneurs fed up with state’s problematic industry rollout

Related: Cannabis Association of NY alleges conflict of interest for Reuben McDaniel, backs criticism of DASNY

Related: New York’s political leaders silent about state’s failure to raise cannabis funds

Related: With DASNY dropping the ball, NYS just changed course on its cannabis retail rollout


Problem #2: June 1 deadline.

Early last year, New York State legislators passed a statute which created two license types: Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator and Adult-Use Conditional Processor. These licenses enabled the Empire State to establish a limited cannabis supply chain before regulators fleshed out the entire legal weed program.

But the laws also say that AUCCs and AUCPs can only distribute their products to retailers until June 1, 2023. Currently, the OCM is months away from opening full licensing, and if there’s no legislative fix by June 1, there will be no legal way to get product from the supply tier to the retail tier.

The OCM said on April 25 that they're mindful about the June 1 date and are working on a solution, but we are now less two weeks from deadline and there's no fix in sight. What needs to happen to fix this problem?

Who this affects primarily:

  • Before June 1: Growers and processors.
  • After June 1: The entire supply chain in addition to ancillary service providers


Related: Clock ticking for NY cannabis growers: legal sales threatened by June 1st deadline

Related: Big trouble lies ahead for New York’s legal cannabis supply chain (guest column)


Problem #3: Crumbling medical program

Seven years after medical sales began, there are only 38 medical dispensaries across the state of New York. Some of the state's medical cannabis companies and others are suing over the CAURD program and their inability to enter the recreational market, and those companies are also laying off workers and cutting hours.

New York medical cannabis patients are frustrated and are suffering from a lack of access, product types and affordability.  

Who this affects primarily:

  • The more than 121,000 registered medical cannabis patients in New York State
  • The hundreds of thousands more who aren't registered, but use cannabis for medical reasons
  • CAURD license holders
  • The ten registered medical cannabis organizations in the state, along with their thousands of employees


Related: NY’s cannabis regulators sued again, this time by the big players

Related: NY’s medical marijuana program suffering as state focuses on a recreational market

Related: Acreage lays off New York employees, PharmaCann may be next


Problem #4: The 4/20 bill

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Michelle Hinchey have introduced legislation that would allow cultivators to sell their products directly to consumers until Sept. 30, 2023. It would also authorize the Office of Cannabis Management to create a loan or grant program to help these farmers process cannabis into distillate.

However, this legislation has stoked division between CAURD licensees and growers, and may not even be feasible given the time constraints and lack of capital among growers to institute a “mini retail store” on their property.

Who this affects primarily:

  • Conditionally licensed cultivators
  • CAURD license holders


Related: ‘Cannabis Crop Rescue Act’ ignites debate on supporting struggling New York cannabis farmers


Problem #5: Enforcement & Legacy

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s enforcement bill has made it into this year’s budget. It aims to increase fines against unlicensed businesses and gives broader authorities to OCM and the Department of Taxation and Finance. But how likely is it to work? And will this effort target Black and brown business owners, reopen the War on Drugs, or miss an opportunity for onboarding these businesses and their tax revenues?

Also, how does the legacy industry successfully onboard into legal without necessary support, financial aid, banking, and other services? Is that a priority for this industry? 

Who this affects primarily:

  • Legacy
  • Illicit and/or "grey market" shops
  • Member-only clubs
  • CAURD license holders
  • Ancillary providers, such as attorneys, accountants and others



Related: Gov. Hochul proposes increased enforcement on illicit cannabis businesses (guest column)

Related: Here’s (mostly) everything in Gov. Hochul’s recent cannabis bill (guest column)

Related: NYS Society of CPAs weighs in on Gov. Hochul’s cannabis enforcement bill (guest column)

Related: Reflections on Gov. Hochul’s proposed cannabis legislation (guest column)

Related: How Gov. Hochul’s cannabis enforcement bill could target consumers

Related: Gov. Kathy Hochul’s cannabis crime bill will destroy lives and restart the War on Drugs (guest column)


Problem #6: ???

What are the other major problems that we’re missing? Let us know here.

Who this affects primarily:

  • Everyone

Concurrent breakout sessions

If you don't want to participate in the open forum discussion or you had a chance to share your concerns, we'll be covering various topics in our breakout room, including:

  • Application to operation: compliance and success for cannabusinesses

  • You're licensed: now what?

  • Sketching out a timeline

  • Medical cannabis 101

  • Understanding True Parties of Interest (TPI)