January 25, 2022

New York State Office of Cannabis Management Releases Filed Local Opt-out Data

New York State Office of Cannabis Management Releases Filed Local Opt-out Data
Data Shows 10% of Cities and 34% of All Localities Opted-Out of All Sales
Data Based on Information Provided by Localities to the Office
Localities that Opted-Out Can Always Opt-In
Board Member Reuben McDaniel Briefs Board on Governor Hochul’s New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) today released data showing that 10% of cities and 34% of all municipalities have opt-ed out of all cannabis sales. About 11.1 million New Yorkers live in cities, or more than half the state’s residents, and those cities that opted out of all sales reflect a collective population of about 118,000 New Yorkers.

The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) enacted in March gives cities, towns, and villages until December 31, 2021 to pass a local law that makes a request to the state Cannabis Control Board to opt their jurisdiction out of hosting retail and/or on-site cannabis consumption licensees. In November, the OCM opened a web-based portal to help localities fulfill this requirement. The Cannabis Control Board will use the information provided as it approves retail licenses for the adult-use cannabis industry.

Municipalities that opted out can opt in at any time. Municipalities cannot otherwise prohibit other cannabis businesses and conduct made legal with the passage of the MRTA, including cannabis possession and use by adults over the age of 21.

“We’re really encouraged by the energy building around New York’s forth coming adult-use cannabis market.   New Yorkers will have an accessible adult-use cannabis market poised to generate billions of dollars in sales as well as create thousands of jobs” said Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright. “New York’s cannabis industry will be accessible, protect public health and keep New Yorkers safe. As the industry blossoms, the equitable economic opportunity it creates will serve as a reminder to opt-out communities that they can always make the choice to participate.”

“The MRTA provides localities with the ability to determine if they want to host cannabis dispensaries or on-site consumption lounges and unlike some other states that gave the option and a large majority opt-out, New Yorkers will have widely accessible sales,” said Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander. “As the new cannabis industry comes to life, reduces harm with safe, tested products and grows the economy equitably, we do believe that some localities will opt back in.”

The data below is based on information filed by localities with the Office of Cannabis Management through a web-based portal.  A full list of filings is available here and will be updated periodically to reflect new opt-out filings or localities opting-in.

Municipality Type

Opted-Out: Dispensary Only

Dispensary %

Opted-Out: Onsite Only

On-site %

Opted Out: Both

Opted out both %





























Board Member McDaniel Briefs the Board on the New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund

At today’s meeting, Board Member Reuben McDaniel briefed the Board on the $200 million New York Social Equity Cannabis Fund that Governor Kathy Hochul included in her State of the State Address earlier this month.

The public-private fund will provide funding to certain eligible applicants from communities impacted by disproportionate policing during the decades-long cannabis prohibition. The fund will have support from licensing fees and revenue, drawing in private investors and making it possible to bring the fund to life early in the process of building the new cannabis industry.

The Fund will provide support to certain licensed social and economic equity entrepreneurs for the costs of establishing and operating adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries.  In addition, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York will deliver a range of services directly to certain social equity cannabis retail operators, including but not limited to:

  • Identifying and acquiring or leasing retail dispensary locations;
  • Designing, constructing, and renovating the locations to operate as adult-use cannabis dispensaries; and
  • Fitting out locations with furniture and other equipment as needed to operate the establishments, among other activities.

Tremaine Wright, Chair of the New York State Cannabis Control Board, said, “The New York Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund will be a unique and important catalyst both to efficiently launch a new industry in New York State and also to counter historical economic inequities that have disproportionately and clearly impacted minority communities.  Governor Hochul’s support for this approach will help ensure the Fund will achieve these goals.”

Reuben McDaniel, III, New York State Cannabis Control Board member and President and CEO of DASNY, said, “The Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund was developed on the premises of partnerships, collaboration and creativity, all of which will be key to the success of individual entrepreneurs and the cannabis industry as a whole.  With the commitment of licensing fees and revenue to support the fund, we look forward to working with private investors to launch the fund at the front-end of the market and help ensure our equity applicants have every opportunity to compete. DASNY is proud to play a role in helping New Yorkers entering an exciting new growth area of New York’s economy.”

OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander: “Thanks to Governor Hochul’s support, New York is leading the way in meeting our goals to build an equitable industry that helps undo the harms of cannabis prohibition. In New York, we’re putting equity applicants in a position for success as the industry launches – not after.”

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