New York State Issues Guidelines for First Retail Dispensaries of Cannabis for Adult Use | Harris Beach PLC

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The New York City Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) late Friday issued guidelines for the first retail dispensaries for adult use.

Some of the key takeaways: cannabis delivery, expressways and drive-through cannabis services will be allowed. In addition, pharmacies must close at midnight and may not open before 8 a.m. without permission from the municipality.

The new rules – which take effect immediately – are an important step in getting closer to the state’s promise to open adult pharmacies by the end of the year.

The 27-page guide is very detailed. It requires that each pharmacy designate a “responsible staff member” who is responsible for overseeing operations and submitting all required reports and notifications to the OCM. Also, each pharmacy must maintain a training manual with safety logs, among other requirements.

The guidelines are in line with OCM’s advertising and marketing regulations – pharmacies cannot claim that the cannabis products will cure or prevent any particular disease or disease, treat any particular symptom, or provide any other medical advice to customers; and may not donate any product or advertise any giveaway, discount, reward scheme or loyalty program.

Many of the regulations – such as drive-thru service – require notification and approval by the OCM.

Other important findings:

  • Pharmacies cannot buy from retailers by credit card. You must pay cash or open a line of credit limited to 90 days. OCM may void any credit agreement it deems economically inappropriate
  • Pharmacies can provide customers with samples for inspection but not for consumption. Products need to be inaccessible to customers, such as behind a counter or in some sort of closed container.
  • Dispensaries must establish a quarantine/recall process for non-compliant products and dispose of cannabis waste to a government-designated location, return to retailer, or manage disposal in accordance with government-mandated protocols.
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