NYSIF to Assist Cannabis Businesses With Insurance Needs

Today, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced that New York State has begun accepting applications for the first adult-use cannabis retail dispensary licenses. The license, called the Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license, is a key pillar of the New York State Seeding Opportunity Initiative. Through the Initiative, New York’s first legal adult-use retail dispensaries will be operated by those most impacted by the enforcement of the prohibition of cannabis, and those first sales will be made with products grown by New York farmers.

In addition, the OCM announced that the State will begin a campaign to assist hundreds of established and emerging New York businesses that have been licensed to participate in the state’s legalized, recreational cannabis market. The campaign, led through the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), will help these companies fulfill their workers’ compensation, disability, and paid family leave requirements, and ensure that their workers are fully protected if they are injured on or off the job.

Eligible applicants can apply under the qualifying business or qualifying non-profit track. Prospective Qualifying Business applicants must: 

  • Have a conviction for a marijuana-related offense that occurred prior to the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA) on March 31, 2021, or have had a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or dependent with a pre-MRTA conviction for a marijuana-related offense in the State of New York. 
  • Have experience owning and operating a qualifying business that has been profitable for at least two years.

The specific ownership and control requirements will depend on the structure of the business applicants and the eligibility criteria under which they are applying. All applicants must be led by justice-involved individuals, whether they are an entity owned by more than one owner, an individual, sole-proprietor or single-owner entity.

“As New York’s newest business market opens to reflect Governor Hochul’s bold vision for advancing equity in the cannabis industry, scores of startups and established businesses in the cannabis supply chain will need the same protection for their workers that any other business requires, including workers’ compensation, disability, and paid family leave coverage,” said Gaurav Vasisht, Executive Director & CEO of NYSIF. “As a state entity with over a century of experience supporting new markets, NYSIF looks forward to helping entrepreneurs meet their insurance needs and comply with these mandatory requirements.”

New York’s recreational cannabis market is expected to reach $4.2 billion by 2027 and to create up to 60,000 jobs. NYSIF’s outreach campaign will help to guarantee the availability of workers’ compensation, disability insurance, and paid family leave to New York businesses, and the company has taken many steps to facilitate this process for cannabis businesses. Companies may qualify for upfront premium discounts and may also be eligible to join NYSIF’s safety group program for additional savings.

Learn more about New York's cannabis CAURD initiative.

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