Under a proposal to be voted on by the New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB), applicants with prior marijuana convictions, or family members that have been negatively impacted by marijuana laws, will receive the first round of dispensary licenses—ahead of even the Registered Organizations that are currently operating dispensaries under New York’s medicinal cannabis structure. The proposal is expected to be voted on and pass later this week. If passed, the proposed regulations will not be final for 45 days and may be subject to challenge during this time. New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) Executive Director, Chris Alexander, told the New York Times that he expects upwards of 200 “justice involved” applicants to receive licenses under the proposal, with retailers potentially coming online before the end of the year.
As currently proposed, to be eligible for a justice involved licenses, an applicant would need to be 51% owned by an individual meeting the “justice involved” definition. That requires an individual to have been convicted of a cannabis-related offense prior to New York’s Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) being passed on March 31, 2021. Applicants with a “parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or dependent” who faced such convictions