New York Cancels Cannabis Board Meeting at Governor’s Request, Leaving Applicants Fuming

Cannabis Board Meeting: Insights, Frustrations, and What’s Next

Hey there, fellow cannabis enthusiasts! Today, we’re going to delve into the recent developments surrounding New York’s cannabis industry. Buckle up because we’ve got some juicy to share about the Cannabis Board Meeting and the unexpected twist that left many hopeful applicants scratching their heads.

The Cancellation That Ruffled Feathers

Picture this: you’re all set to attend a crucial Cannabis Board Meeting, ready to discuss your dispensary license application, and then, out of the blue, you receive a notification – the meeting is canceled. What’s worse? It’s not just any cancellation; it’s at the request of Governor Kathy Hochul.

Paul Suits Jr., CEO of LakeHouse Cannabis, didn’t take this lightly. He had been gearing up to read his frustrations aloud at the meeting, detailing the challenges he’d faced in securing a retail license in Cortland, New York. And he’s not alone – hundreds of other applicants were in the same boat.

The Priority Puzzle

Suits had initially applied for a retail license back in October, and by the ’s criteria, he was a “priority” applicant due to his existing retail store, primed for a transition into cannabis sales. The only thing missing? The elusive license itself.

But here’s where the plot thickens. The state’s communication regarding the number of priority licenses to be awarded and the awarding process had been about as clear as smoke in a room. The priority application window closed on November 17, but as of now, not a single priority-track license has been granted.

Suits had believed that having a spot and state approval would be the golden ticket to securing a license. Many others, like him, had locations ready to roll, and they felt the state was fumbling the ball.

The Mysterious Meeting Agenda

Now, let’s talk about the meeting agenda, shall we? Just before the meeting’s cancellation, it was revealed that only three proposed sales dispensaries were on the list. The other 10 pending licenses were for cultivators, small “microbusiness” producers, and processors. An eyebrow-raising mix, to say the least.

Adam Perry, a member of the Cannabis Control Board, dropped a bombshell in an email, stating that the meeting’s cancellation was at the Governor’s request. Why? We’re not entirely sure. But what followed was a late-night announcement that the meeting would be postponed until next month, with no concrete date in sight.

“A Lot of Problems” – Indeed

The cannabis industry in New York has been facing a rollercoaster of challenges since legalization, and this meeting cancellation added another twist to the tale. The state had been emphasizing the need for more retail stores, but the agenda didn’t quite align with that message.

Joe Rossi, the head of cannabis lobbying for Park Strategies, expressed his frustration, saying that if the state had issues with a particular aspect, they could have simply removed it from the agenda. Public discussion was needed, especially during the public comment period of the board meetings.

Jeffrey Hoffman, a cannabis lawyer in New York, summed it up succinctly: “We have a lot of problems and not a lot of solutions so far.”

The Long and Winding Road

New York’s cannabis has been on a rocky road since its inception, with lawsuits and aplenty. While some dispensaries have started to open around the state, New York still has just 53 licensed dispensaries statewide. In contrast, unlicensed stores in New York City alone have mushroomed into the thousands, overwhelming neighborhoods.

The Office of Cannabis Management has been vocal about the need for more retail locations. They even held a special meeting in December to approve a marijuana operator’s transition to serving the general public, highlighting the urgency to expand.

The Frustration Continues

Jason Gough, a spokesperson for , pointed to the statements made by the Office of Cannabis Management, deflecting blame from the Governor. But applicants like Jason Tantalo, co-founder of the New York Cannabis Retail Association, are still in limbo.

Tantalo, much like Paul Suits Jr., has a secured location ready to roll. However, the processing of their applications remains a mystery, and they continue to pay steep monthly rents while waiting.

Advocacy and Persistence

In the face of these challenges, Paul Suits Jr. makes one thing clear: they’re not giving up. for obtaining retail licenses continues, and these hopeful entrepreneurs are keeping their spirits high.

So, there you have it, folks – the ins and outs of the recent Cannabis Board Meeting in New York. It’s been a wild ride, with more twists and turns than a winding . But as these applicants persist, we can only hope for smoother times ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of cannabis legalization.


  • Q: Why did Governor Hochul request the meeting’s cancellation?
  • A: The exact reason remains unclear, but the meeting was postponed at her request.
  • Q: What is the status of priority licenses for cannabis dispensaries in New York?
  • A: Despite many applicants being in the priority track, no licenses have been awarded yet, causing frustration among hopeful entrepreneurs.
  • Q: How many licensed dispensaries are there in New York?
  • A: New York currently has only 53 licensed dispensaries statewide, despite the demand for more retail locations.

Author’s Note: A big shoutout to the original article by Rosalind Adams from The City for shedding light on this issue. Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Rosalind!

Rosemary Puffman
I'm Rosemary, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization and its potential benefits. My roles as a writer, cannabis entrepreneur, and informed investor allow me to contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis. Through my writing, I aim to destigmatize and educate, while my business ventures and strategic investments align with my belief in the positive impact of responsible cannabis use.

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