If you’ve been waiting for the state’s newly enacted recreational cannabis law to morph from words on a page to actual product you can buy at a dispensary, you are closer to getting an answer.

The question is clearly one that the new executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has been asked hundreds of times.

“We are moving as fast as humanly possible and doing all we can to speed up the timeline,” Chris Alexander told Capital Tonight.

The Office of Cannabis Management is the state agency that regulates the cannabis industry in New York. It is overseen by a five-member Cannabis Control Board. Both groups will have responsibility for promulgating new cannabis regulations, which will begin to be rolled-out at the “end of winter, early spring."

That will be followed by a five-month public comment period. 

According to Alexander, the OCM is looking to open up the licensing period by the end of 2022. 

“After that, we will have clarity on when we can expect sales,” Alexander said. “There will be some time needed to allow for the build-out of dispensaries.”

While medical marijuana dispensaries are already up and running, and therefore could be ready for sales before mom-and-pop start-ups, Alexander said social equity applicants will get the first dibs at licenses because it’s in the law.

“Yes, we do have 10 medical companies called registered organizations currently providing cannabis to our patients in the state, but the priority language included in the cannabis law means that we need to find a way to ensure that there’s participation from these equity applicants before others are able to participate in this space,” Alexander explained.