NEW YORK — New York State's Office of Cannabis Management has announced it will be accepting applications for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary, or CAURD, license. The online portal will open Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, and will close on September 26, according to the Office of Cannabis Management.
The CUARD program is part of the state's Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which permits the operation of legal adult-use retail dispensaries. The businesses will be operated by those most impacted by the enforcement of the prohibition of cannabis and will make the first sales of adult-use cannabis in New York with products grown by New York farmers.
“With the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, New York has affirmed our commitment to making sure the first sales are conducted by those harmed by prohibition. We’re writing a new playbook for what an equitable launch of a cannabis industry looks like, and hope future states follow our lead." said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board.
To be eligible for the licenses, applicants can apply under the qualifying business track or qualifying non-profit track. Applicants must have a marijuana-related offense conviction that occurred prior to the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA) on March 31, 2021, or have had a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or dependent with a pre-MRTA marijuana-related offense conviction in New York. They must also have experience owning and operating a qualifying business.
"This is a monumental step in establishing the most equitable, diverse, and accessible cannabis industry in the nation,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. “We’ve worked to make this application as simple as possible for all interested applicants, and I cannot emphasize it enough that you do not need any legal expertise to fill this application out.”
Because of the short application window, the state is encouraging applicants to start preparing their documentation. To assist with the process, the Office of Cannabis Management has published an interactive resource page.