ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The Office of Cannabis Management has recently issued additional guidelines for applicants who want to operate marijuana dispensaries. Those guidelines include limitations on where applicants are getting their funding.

“These guys are back to square zero, on finding access to the capital, you know access to the money, cause running these businesses is not cheap,” said Jesse Campoamor, Founder & CEO of Campoamor & Sons.

As part of their updated guidelines, OCM says anyone who owns a licensing, manufacturing or distribution site outside of New York cannot have equity in retail dispensaries within the state. Campoamer said this regulation could put a pause on some applicants who have been looking for the expertise and funding from out of state sites, “And so this just made it a lot more difficult to get access to capital and to leverage expertise from more mature markets in New York and so people are scrambling now.”

Campoamer said one reason OCM may have created this guideline could be to protect New York Farmers and prevent further competition when they’re already competing with those in the illicit cannabis market. The Office has already sent out cease and desist orders to smoke shops and dispensaries selling cannabis illegally. They will work with local police to impose fines on these businesses who are posing as legal dispensaries that have been tested and verified. 

“The thing we wanna focus on is these brick-and-mortar shops because they are masquerading as a legal you know verified shop and that’s something that we have an absolutely zero tolerance for,” said Trivette Knowles a spokesperson for OCM. The Cannabis Control Board is meeting tentatively on November 21.