Joe Schafer: The New York Cannabis Clock is Ticking

Vangst/Jan 11, 2023

hero-graphic-Joe Schafer: The New York Cannabis Clock is Ticking

What happens when two Buffalo Bills fans get together to talk about cannabis?

The last time we checked in with the New York cannabis market on Proud to Work in Cannabis was back in August, when we sat down with Ashley Picillo to talk about ‘What the Hell’s Going on With the New York Market?’

Now, Vangst Founder and CEO, Karson Humiston, is sitting down with New York Cannabis Attorney, Joe Schafer from Lippes & Mathias LLP, to get an update on what is happening in the New York cannabis market, in real time.

Here’s what we learned

  • The success of the New York cannabis market goes beyond New York City, and is only possible because of the farming community of upstate New York.
  • Now is the time we’ve been waiting for in the New York cannabis market, with the state rolling out regulations and licenses in real time.
  • Big things are happening in New York, and the best is yet to come!


  • March 2021: The Marijuana Regulation Taxation Act, which legalizes the adult-use market in New York was passed, but there was a 6 month delay in appointing the cannabis control board as a result of Governor Cuomo resigning from office.
  • Early 2022: New York constructs a conditional market with 3 types of licenses: The conditional cultivator license, the conditional processor license, and the conditional dispensary license. Amongst these licenses 40 went to New York legacy hemp farmers, and 150 CAURD licenses (Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary). CARUD licenses were allotted to social equity applicants who met the criteria of having ownership of a business for 2 years that is currently profitable, and having a close family member who was convicted of a cannabis-related crime in New York.
  • November 2022: A Michigan-based company who is operated by an individual who was convicted of a cannabis-related conviction in Michigan appealed the courts, claiming that the CAURD program was discriminatory against citizens from other states, and goes against the “Dormant Commerce Clause of the US Constitution.” To which the courts agreed, and responded by removing 68 of the CAURD licenses of the original 150 that were previously allotted.
  • December 2022: The state filed a motion and issued 36 licenses in other regions of the state that weren’t impacted by the injunction.
  • January 2023: The regulations for the unconditional licenses have been released, and there will be a 60-day comment period which will end on February 2nd, and allows anybody in the public to make any comments or suggestions on the current regulations.


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