AUCC Cultivation Change Form Update!
by Joann Kudrewicz, Chair of the Cultivation Committee
At the first meeting on Tuesday, 1/17/23, the newly formed CANY Cultivation committee quickly mobilized to address the most important issues concerning the community as voiced through a multitude of CANY channels, by AUCC Cultivators across the State, inclusive of both members and non-members. The first order of business identified at the onset was in reference to the AUCC Cultivation Change Form which was due on February 1st. Upon a request from the CANY Board of Directors, the Cultivation Committee drafted a letter to the OCM that highlighted both the issues at hand, as well as proposed solutions. See original letter below.
Within a week of receipt, the OCM responded by sending an email to the AUCC Cultivation Community. See OCM email response below.
While all the requests were not fully realized, we believe that this is a step in the right direction towards developing a professional and meaningful dialogue with the OCM as we work towards our common goals.
It is important to the committee that a large swath of Cultivators is represented in these communications regardless of CANY membership, so that the greater mission of co-creating a NYS Adult-Use Cannabis Industry that is equitable and inclusive, is truly representative of our group. While we encourage CANY membership for best communication, and advocacy opportunities, we encourage all cultivators to provide feedback and suggestions regarding how we might best be of service.
To that end, we will be distributing a survey to all AUCC cultivators in our database, to identify the needs of our collective community. We hope that you will offer a response that includes both items of concern, as well as proposed solutions. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to future engagement!
Joann Kudrewicz, Chair
CANY Cultivation Committee
From: “ocm.sm.compliance” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 30, 2023 at 1:32:10 PM EST
Cc: “ocm.sm.compliance” <email@example.com>
Subject:2023 Cultivation Selection UPDATE!
Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator (AUCC) Licensee,
This communication is to provide an update on the AUCC Tier Selection Form (attached). Please note that the Form has been amended slightly. New language is in red.
All AUCCs must complete this form indicating their cultivation method and tier for the 2023 grow season (through October 2023). Please note, AUCCs will not be permitted to switch back and forth between cultivation methods or tiers throughout the 2023 grow season (through October 2023).
Different from last year, AUCCs are now able to select a greenhouse cultivation method with no restriction on the number of lights used for cultivation authorizing up to 6,250 square feet in a greenhouse/ mixed light canopy and up to 12,000 square feet of outdoor canopy. This greenhouse/ mixed light canopy option does not authorize indoor cultivation. As defined in the AUCC guidance, a greenhouse is defined as: “a structure or thermally isolated enclosed area of a building that maintains a specialized sunlit environment used for and essential to the cultivation, protection, or maintenance of plants”. AUCCs found to be cultivating in locations that do not qualify as a greenhouse risk their license being revoked and ability to transition to a full cultivator license upon the expiration of the conditional period. If you have any questions about what constitutes a “greenhouse”, please reach out to the Office at firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures and a description of the proposed structure.
Please note: if selecting one of the options with greenhouse, photo documentation and written description of the greenhouse facility and how it meets the definition of a greenhouse must be included with the submission.
An AUCC will not be restricted to the cultivation method and tier selected on this form permanently. Upon finalization of the Adult-use regulations and AUCC transition to a full cultivator license, AUCCs will again be able to select one of the four cultivation methods/tiers outlined in the form. Consistent with Cannabis Law S. 68-c, all AUCCs in good standing with the Office at the time of transition to a full cultivator license, will be eligible to receive the same canopy and cultivation options identified in the form.
The Office is extending the deadline for AUCCs to complete the AUCC Tier Selection Form until February 28th but will be accepting and approving forms on a rolling basis. To the extent that an AUCC is changing their current tier, the tier selection that is made on this form will become effective as soon as written approval is received from the Office of Cannabis Management (Office).
Based on this new information, if you have already submitted the selection and wish to update it, you may resubmit.
If you have any questions, please reach out to email@example.com.
As Chair of the Cannabis Association of New York (CANY) Cultivation Committee, I would first like to thank the OCM for all the hard work and dedication that the office has demonstrated in establishing a Legal Cannabis marketplace! It is with great appreciation and honor that we, as an AUCC Cultivation community, have been able to participate in this groundbreaking opportunity.
I also would like to thank the OCM for establishing an environment that encourages active communication between yourselves and the industry that you serve. It is our belief that active dialogue and collaboration amongst all stakeholders will positively shape what promises to be one of the largest markets in the adult-use Cannabis Industry nationwide.
To that end, I would like to share some of the thoughts and concerns arising from the CANY cultivation community regarding the “AUCC Cultivation Change Form” which center around two major themes:
1) The timing of the form submission deadline in relation to other major milestones in the program which would inform license category selection
2) Future consequences and implications of selecting a particular license category
Regarding the timing of selection:
With the current deadline, AUCCs are committing to a license category without access to an official set of rules defining how each of those categories will be regulated. License holders are hesitant to make decisions without a full understanding of the associated commitments. Finalized regulations will provide the framework and guidance needed for establishing best practices and future planning. We propose deferring the license category selection deadline until after releasing a functional rule set.
Regarding future implications of selecting a particular license category:
Cultivators are concerned that making selections permanently binding will negatively affect their ability to learn and adapt in this new market. The individual and collective experience gained after completing the first full seed-to-sale cycle may reveal previously unconsidered benefits and drawbacks of particular license categories.
Having answers to the following questions may assist in alleviating concerns while also setting the stage for a more collaborative rollout:
1) Can AUCC licensees change the license category selection…
a. during this 2023 growing season?
b. at any point before 2024 AUCC expiration for the purpose of site upgrades, expansion, or footprint modification?
2) Does this form limit or restrict AUCC licensee options when transitioning to, or applying for, full non conditional licensure?
a. Will a licensee be able to elect to continue with the category selected in the current AUCC Cultivation Change Form?
b. Will a licensee be able to convert from the selected category to one of the other categories offered in the current AUCC Cultivation Change Form?
c. If a licensee chooses to ‘apply’ for a non-conditional license that is ‘other’ than one found on the current AUCC Cultivation Change Form, such as one of the new tier types described in the proposed regulations, how does that transition occur in terms of changing canopy allocations and building new infrastructure associated with the “new” license? Will the AUCC be able to apply for and be awarded an ‘other’ license type and continue to operate under current conditions while ‘building’ the new tier infrastructure?
We propose offering a list of FAQs to the OCM compiled from our cultivation community feedback, and/or co-creating a webinar designed to address the questions of greatest importance to our group.
I recognize that time is of the essence in gathering data and making decisions as you are negotiating the full scope of all that is involved in establishing this Industry. I, as well as my CANY Cultivation Committee colleagues, are available to act as a resource and conduit to our community to assist in serving the New York State objectives to restore prosperity to our distressed farmers and provide opportunities to our small business owners in this nascent market.
In my short time in this new role, I have come to realize that the most important thing I can offer our cultivation community is a forum to be heard, and an opportunity to feel some sense of personal control during this ever-evolving process. Please let me know how best to continue this conversation so that I may communicate back to the community that we both serve, with assurances that their concerns are being addressed. Thank you for your consideration.
Cultivation Committee Chair
Cannabis Association of New York
The Cultivation Committee is led by Joann Kudrewicz as the Chair and Erik Carbone as the Vice Chair. They organize weekly meetings to address pressing policy issues, and bi-weekly calls with adult-use cultivators to bring the licensed cultivation community together and ensure that their voices have an impact on CANY’s advocacy work. To contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to cany.org.