ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) said a new online portal will make it easier for cannabinoid hemp (CBD) related businesses to apply for licenses. All businesses selling CBD products must be licensed, they said.

OCM has received 2,856 licenses to sell CBD to date and said they have been reviewing them on a rolling basis. OCM wanted to make it clear that a license to sell CBD is not a license to sell recreational marijuana. Businesses already selling CBD products will be contacted by OCM to make sure they know about state regulations.

“With regulations now fully in place, and the licensing process advancing, New Yorkers will know they’re purchasing safe, tested cannabinoid hemp products,” said Cannabis Control Board Chair, Tremaine Wright. “We are committed to protecting public health and bringing stability to the industry which will, ultimately, help it grow.”

The portal allows retailers to apply for licenses but it’s also for distributors, processors, and manufacturers. A month ago, OCM released regulations for the CBD industry. From that point businesses had six months (until April 25​, 2022) to comply with regulations, which include licensing.

“Protecting public health is a central goal of the OCM and one of the key justifications for legalizing cannabis. With so many businesses already selling cannabinoid hemp products, education will be key in making sure businesses come into compliance,” said OCM Executive Director, Chris Alexander.

The regulations provide a system to make sure that CBD products are safe. To that end, the regulations prohibit CBD products with Delta-8 THC or synthetic cannabinoids from being sold. “Products as these contain intoxicating qualities that are better left to be regulated in the future adult-use program,” OCM said. CBD products are defined as those with less than 0.3% THC content.

The OCM got a slow start after recreational marijuana was approved in New York last March. Key positions were left vacant by former governor Andrew Cuomo, and it wasn’t until September when Governor Kathy Hochul made the appointments of several people that the OCM started making progress with regulations.