Behind the Green Curtain: Explaining the NY Cannabis Growers Showcase

Table of Contents

My friends! Your favorite legal translator is back, and guess what just landed on my desk? A fresh policy document that's hotter than a New York summer, and boy has it been hot this summer! Remember that breaking news we chatted about yesterday—the one that green light legal cannabis product sales at pop up events? Well, today, we're about to dig into the nitty-gritty. Buckle up, 'cause we're going for a ride into the heart of New York's cannabis scene.

The document in question lays out the details of a game-changing initiative that's set to bring some serious buzz to the Big Apple. Imagine this: licensed cannabis growers and processors showcasing their top-shelf products at events, with consumers having the opportunity to buy directly from licensed retailers. Sounds like a scene from a stoner's dream, right? But it's as real as the city's skyline.

Those greenlit for licensed activities by the Office of Cannabis Management, such as Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators (AUCC), Adult-Use Conditional Processors (AUCP), and Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) are all invited to the party. These Cannabis Growers Showcases (CGS) can pop up anywhere, from standalone temporary retail locations, licensed retail dispensaries, and even at the sites of licensed cultivators or processors. They can even take the stage at other approved event venues.

However, there's one important caveat: temporary delivery-only spots are not on the guest list for hosting a CGS. It's a minor buzzkill, but rules are rules, and we're here to make sure everyone's in the know.

So, that's the gist of it. But stick around, 'cause we're about to dive deeper into this policy and see how it's set to reshape the cannabis landscape in New York. Stay tuned!"

The Green Gallery: Unraveling the Concept of NY's Cannabis Growers Showcase

Now, this isn't just a one-off gig; it's a full-blown program that's set to run through January 1, 2024. Think of it as a ticket to the backstage of New York's cannabis scene.

At its core, the CGS is a temporary cannabis retail program. But it ain't your average pop-up shop. This program is the golden bridge that connects licensed cannabis cultivators, dispensary owners, and consumers. In other words, it's the ultimate marketplace where the green thumbs behind the cannabis plants get to flaunt their goods, while dispensary owners sell these top-quality cannabis products directly to you, the consumer. It's a win-win-win situation if you ask me.

But before these showcases can kick off, they need the green light from the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). Once the OCM's seal of approval is stamped, these CGS events can light up at various locations. We're talking about Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) locations, Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator (AUCC) sites (that's right, the actual farms), processor locations, and even other OCM-approved events.

The Other Side of the Leaf: Understanding What NY's Cannabis Growers Showcase Isn't

Now, before you get too lost in the clouds dreaming about the CGS, let's ground ourselves with a few important realities. As cool as this initiative is, there are a few things it's definitely not about. Let's take a moment to set the record straight.

First off, these showcases aren't onsite consumption events. I know, the idea of a festival where you can sample all sorts of different strains sounds like heaven on earth, but unfortunately, the CGS isn't that party. It's a marketplace, not a smoke-out.

Secondly, if you're an unlicensed individual or business thinking this might be your chance to jump into the cannabis game, I hate to burst your bubble. The CGS isn't an opportunity for unlicensed sellers to sell cannabis. This is strictly a platform for licensed cultivators and dispensaries to strut their stuff and make direct sales to consumers.

And speaking of those cultivators and processors, while they get the chance to showcase their products, they're not actually the ones ringing up your purchases. Despite the name, the CGS doesn't authorize growers or processors to make direct sales to customers. They're the stars of the show, for sure, but the final sale to customers comes from the licensed dispensaries.

Cannabis Compliance: The Must-Know Requirements for NY's Growers Showcase

Like any program worth its salt, the Cannabis Growers Showcase (CGS) comes with a set of rules to keep things fair and square. If you're a cultivator or dispensary looking to join the party, here's what you need to know to stay on the right side of the law.

First and foremost, before you can roll out the red carpet for your event, you need to submit your plans to the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and get their approval. They're the referees in this game, and their whistle is final. You gotta play by their rules, or you're not playing at all.

Once you've got the OCM's approval, you need to make sure you're in good standing with all applicable state and local laws and regulations. That means keeping your paperwork up to date, following all the health and safety guidelines, and generally just being a good citizen in the cannabis community.

And let's not forget about the location requirements. This isn't a "set up shop wherever you want" situation. There are specific rules about where a CGS can take place. For instance, you need to maintain a respectful distance from schools and houses of worship. You also need to steer clear of medical and adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries. After all, this is about bringing the cannabis community together, not stepping on anyone's toes.

Cannabis Credentials: Who's Eligible for NY's Cannabis Growers Showcase?

So who's eligible to join this exclusive club? Well, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has kept the list pretty tight. You've got your Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators (AUCCs), the green thumbs behind the cannabis plants we all love. And then you've got your Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURDs) that have either final retail or temporary delivery-only authorizations.

The Weed-Out Process: Who's Not Qualified for NY's Cannabis Growers Showcase?

Just like any exclusive event, the Cannabis Growers Showcase (CGS) has a guest list. And while we've already talked about who's got a VIP pass to the CGS Organizer role, let's take a moment to discuss who's going to find themselves waiting behind the velvet rope.

Retail dispensary applicants, you might have your sights set on the cannabis market, but you're not quite there yet. And provisional retail dispensary licensees, while you're a step closer, you're not eligible for the CGS Organizer role either.

The same goes for cannabis processors. While your work is crucial to the cannabis community, you won't be able to apply to be a CGS Organizer. Consultant groups and organizations, you're also in the same boat. Your insights might be invaluable, but this isn't your show to run.

And let's not forget municipalities and event venues/promoters. While you might be the ones hosting or hyping up the CGS events, you can't step into the CGS Organizer shoes.

But here's the silver lining: while these groups can't apply to be a CGS Organizer, they can still play a crucial role in the CGS events. They can assist in the coordination or promotion of the events, helping to make each showcase a success.

So, even if you're not a CGS Organizer, there's still plenty of room for you in the CGS scene.

New York Cannabis Lawyer Going Over the NY Cannabis Growers Showcase Policy

Your Green Guide: FAQ on New York's CGS Initiative

Question: What are CGS event examples?

CGS events can take a couple of different forms, each with its own unique vibe:

  1. Standalone events: These are events that are organized and hosted solely for the purpose of cannabis sales. Think of it as a pop-up shop where licensed cannabis cultivators and dispensaries can showcase and sell their products.
  2. Events in conjunction with another event: These CGS events happen alongside another event—maybe a music festival, a food fair, or a private party. Just keep in mind that while these events may be free, require tickets, or have entry fees, approval from the event organizer must be included in the CGS application. And one more thing: event or ticket fees can't come bundled with the sale, gift, or discount of cannabis products.

Question: Where can I host a CGS Event?

Location, location, location—it's key for any event, and CGS events are no exception:

  1. Community Approval: CGS events must take place in an 'opt-in' community. That means the local government has given the thumbs up to adult-use cannabis activities.
  2. Distance Requirements: Just like in real estate, it's all about location. CGS events have to comply with all distance requirements. So you need to set up your event a respectful distance away from schools, houses of worship, and other retail dispensaries.

Question: What can I sell at the CGS?

Ah, the million-dollar question. Here's the lowdown on what you can bring to the CGS marketplace:

  1. Cannabis Products: This one's a no-brainer. Whether it's flower, edibles, tinctures, or topicals, if it's a cannabis product, it's fair game.
  2. Cannabinoid Hemp Products: Got a CBD sales license? Then you're good to sell your cannabinoid hemp products at the CGS.
  3. Cannabis Paraphernalia: Anything that's used to introduce cannabis into the human body, be it a pipe, a vaporizer, or rolling papers, can be sold at the CGS.
  4. Stationery, Gifts, Other Minor Incidentals: Looking to sell some non-cannabis items? Stationery, gifts, and other minor incidentals are welcome additions to your CGS booth.
  5. Branded Merchandise & Apparel: Want to sell some branded merch? You can sell merchandise and apparel—just make sure it's adult-sized only.

Remember, no matter what you're selling, if it's a cannabis product, you've got to verify the buyer's age before making the sale. We're all about enjoying cannabis responsibly here at the CGS.

Question: What are the review sales requirements?

When it comes to selling at a CGS event, there are a few key rules to keep in mind:

  1. Vendor Requirements: Only CGS vendors (that is, CAURD licensees) and their employees are allowed to sell cannabis products to consumers. This isn't a free-for-all; you've got to be licensed to get in on the action.
  2. Receipts: For all sales, customers must be provided with receipts. It's all about keeping things transparent and above-board.
  3. Taxes: CGS vendors, it's on you to collect taxes, including both excise and retail taxes. Uncle Sam's got to get his share, after all.
  4. No Samples or Delivery Orders: While it might be tempting to offer cannabis product samples or take delivery orders, that's a no-go at a CGS event.

Question: What are the main compliance key factors?

Compliance is key at any CGS event. Here are the main factors you'll need to keep an eye on:

  1. Inventory Tracking: Keeping a close eye on your inventory is crucial. You'll need to have a system in place to track what's coming in and what's going out.
  2. Customer Age Verification: Selling cannabis products is an adults-only game. Make sure you're verifying the age of your customers before making a sale.
  3. Staffing: From knowledgeable budtenders to vigilant security personnel, you'll need a capable team to ensure your event runs smoothly.
  4. Marketing and Signage: How you market your event and what signs you use can have big implications. Make sure you're following all the guidelines.
  5. Security Requirements: Protecting your products, your team, and your customers is vital. Make sure you're meeting all security requirements.
  6. Disposal of Cannabis & Cannabis Waste: When the party's over, you'll need to clean up responsibly. Be sure to follow all guidelines for disposing of cannabis and cannabis waste.

For more detailed information, make sure you carefully review the CGS Guidance Document. It's got everything you need to know to stay in compliance and host a successful event.

Question: What are the licensee participation ratios?

If you're a CGS Organizer, you'll need to know about the licensee participation ratios. This is all about ensuring a balanced representation of the different licensees at each event. Here's the breakdown:

  1. Partnerships: As a CGS Organizer, you must partner with other Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) licensees for each event.
  2. Ratio of AUCCs to AUCPs: For every three Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators (AUCCs) participating in a CGS event, one Adult-Use Conditional Processor (AUCP) may participate as a vendor.

Question: What are the main factors for local approvals?

Getting local approval is a crucial step in setting up a CGS event. Here are the key factors:

  1. Municipal Approvals: You'll need a letter from an official or representative of the local permitted authority giving you the thumbs up. Alternatively, if there's an existing local event permit that would authorize an event with cannabis sales, you can use that.
  2. Event Approvals: If your CGS is part of an existing event, you'll need to get additional approval. The event must be geared toward adults, and you'll need to submit a letter from the event organizer approving your participation and cannabis sales.

Question: What are the main factors for local taxes?

Taxes are a crucial part of any retail event, and a CGS is no exception. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Tax Collection: As a CGS vendor (a CAURD licensee), you're responsible for collecting all retail, excise, and local sales taxes. Make sure you're prepared to handle this crucial part of the sales process.
  2. Tax Revenue Distribution: The tax revenue generated by cannabis sales will be split between the county and the city, town, or village where the CGS event is hosted. This is the case even if the CGS vendor is located in a different municipality.
  3. Tax Submissions: The Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) is ready to accept CAURD tax submissions from multiple jurisdictions.

Question: what are the main factors for the application elements?

Applying to host a CGS event involves submitting quite a bit of information to ensure everything is above board. Here are the key elements you'll need to include in your application:

  1. Organizer & Participant Information: You'll need to provide information about all licensees involved in the event. Be aware that all participants will be checked for compliance or enforcement issues.
  2. Event Information: Details about the event are crucial. You'll need to include the hours of operation, the location (including photos), a site plan, a staffing plan, and marketing information. If the event is going to be recurring, you'll need to mention that too.
  3. Municipal Approval: As mentioned earlier, you'll need to provide proof of approval from the local permitted authority.
  4. Inventory List: Before and after the event, you'll need to submit an inventory list. This is part of the crucial task of keeping track of your product throughout the event.


Meeting of the New York State Cannabis Control Board - Presentation

Office of Cannabis Management - New York State


Office Of Cannabis Management - cgs-approval-7-19-23.pdf - Archive

NY Cannabis Growers Showcase - Application Participating Licensees

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