Msnmarijuanasup Cannabis in NY Laws Article:
Like many other states, the progression of legal marijuana in New York is happening on a case-by-case basis. Legal authorities are a little tentative about going from 0 to 60mph concerning the mass proliferation of cannabis-related products. The New York cannabis packaging scene is one that is about to experience this exact scenario.
New York was the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana on March 31, 2021. Even though it is anticipated to rake in close to $7 billion in market value, the state has been a little slow in allowing edibles and tinctures to be available in brick-and-mortar shops. The way they are starting is by introducing a step-by-step program allowing some growing of at-home product, retail cannabis delivery, and “consumption lounges,” which is just a fancy term for BYOW (bring your own weed).
The part that we find the most interesting is the delivery aspect. At MSN Packaging, we supply state-compliant packaging to retail and cultivation shops all over the US. Now that NY has a new delivery program for the mass sale of cannabis products, we wanted to dive into how this will work, so everyone is current on the legal side of things.
Adult Use Delivery of Cannabis
New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (yes, that is a thing now) issued guidelines that allow some dispensaries and retail organizations to acquire a CAURD license. This is known as a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary authorization for businesses to deliver cannabis products. In other words, you aren't selling a product if you don’t have a CAURD.
The goal is to “jumpstart” the market by carefully tracking demand and how the transactions will work. This will allow some businesses to establish the young market, so when the wider door is opened to other retail establishments, there will already be competition in the market to benefit the consumer.
With the CAURD you can:
- Secure a fulfillment warehouse
- Receive online/phone orders
- Accept online pre-payments only (no cash transactions yet)
- Allow delivery via bicycles, scooters, and cars
- Confirm the age of the recipient at delivery (21+)
- Hire up to 25 delivery staff members
All businesses hoping to secure the CAURD will have to follow child-resistant packaging rules as well as be subject to public health and safety regulations for both cannabis and operating a business.
When Do We Get Dispensaries?
Here’s the rub. No one will get to browse the bountiful shelves of dispensaries until at least a little into 2023. Even though 36 Adult-Use Retail Dispensary licensees have been awarded by the state, only 8 have established locations so far, and those are primarily non-profits.
Unfortunately, like most things in NY, there is a lot of red tape to untangle to make a dispensary work. You have to get a CAURD license and then submit your desired location for approval by the Office of Cannabis Management, and only then will you get access to any Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund resources for renovations and development.
As of right now, the two major anticipated retail dispensaries will be located on Staten Island with Long Wong Bakery II and Vape Guys, LLC. Not exactly mass adoption of retail business, but these are still early days, and things are likely to change.
All these businesses will need an online presence to utilize the CAURD delivery aspect of the law because that is the only way to accept payment right now. Our suggestion is to snag up domains for sale like www.cannabusclub.com and www.cannabusclubdelivery.com (both of which are available). That way, you can get in early on the branding and build your business while you wait for the long, drawn-out process of securing a location in a good spot around NY.
A Surprising Side Point
One of the more exciting aspects of this system is how the state is leaning into the “social equity marijuana” market. They are allowing justice-involved people to be some of the first because they have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. That means you are more likely to receive a license if you have an owner or manager with some criminal-related background that slips through the guidelines, as well as small business experience.
The goal of this program is to help those that have been harmed due to the over-prosecution of marijuana laws in the past. This way, the state can try to “make amends” by opening new businesses supporting the cannabis community and operated by those with direct experience in the field.
For us, it seems like an excellent first step. We try to stay above the fray of political bargaining. As a supplier of state-compliant packaging, our main concern is keeping up with the current laws in each state opening new cannabis-related businesses.
The Future of the NY Market
As for the future of the market, you can expect the retail side of things to explode probably halfway through 2023. That is when most of the retail locations will receive approval for development. In the meantime, don’t be surprised to walk around NY and see electronic scooters with cannabis-related marketing plastered on the sides as they zoom on to make new deliveries.
This is an exciting time to watch New York. We already know access to recreational marijuana is transforming the budgets and public educational standards of most states where it has been adopted. Hopefully, in the years to come, the financial resources gained by allowing these businesses will prove to do the same for the state.
All in all, we see the new delivery rules in NY to be a significant step forward and will do everything we can to ensure our New York cannabis packaging is up to snuff, so these businesses have a vital partner in growing their outreach.