New York Cannabis License Guidelines

New York Office of Cannabis Management

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria

The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) will be charged with issuing licenses for businesses to participate in the adult-use, medical and cannabinoid hemp industries. To begin accepting applications for the adult-use program, the OCM will need to issue and implement regulations establishing the application process for different license types

The OCM will actively promote social and economic equity applicants who have been harmed by the prohibition of cannabis for adult-use licenses, establishing a goal of awarding 50% of licenses to social and economic equity applicants. Please continue to monitor the website for updates about licensing and more information about the social and economic equity program.    

New York Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the New York commercial cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:

FAQs

Who can apply for a cannabis business license?

Residents of New York, aged 21 and above can apply for a marijuana business license, either alone or in partnership with someone. The OCM will actively promote social and economic equity applicants who have been harmed by the prohibition of cannabis, and has established a goal of awarding 50% of licenses to social and economic equity applicants.

What is the process for obtaining an adult-use marijuana retail license in New York?

The OCM is yet to establish the process for obtaining a cannabis business license. Please continue to monitor their website for updates about licensing and more information about the social and economic equity program.

Watch this space in 3-6 months from now for more details on the application process.

Is one entity allowed to apply for more than one license?

A single company won’t be allowed to handle all parts of recreational cannabis — cultivation, processing, distributing, and dispensing — with the exception of micro-businesses. A cultivator or processor will be barred from having any financial interest in a marijuana retail business.

Medical marijuana dispensaries can obtain a license to distribute, cultivate, and process cannabis, but they will only be allowed to distribute their own products, and sell adult-use cannabis at only three of a medical operator’s dispensaries.

Watch this space in 3-6 months from now for more details on the application process.

Where can a cannabis dispensary or retail establishment be located?

Brick-and-mortar retail dispensaries, where people can purchase cannabis products, will have to adhere to zoning laws established by local municipalities. Localities can opt out of allowing dispensaries and will have until the end of 2021 to do so.

Consumption at dispensaries will be limited to businesses that have an on-site consumption license, but social cannabis lounges in New York are definitely on the horizon. Entrepreneurs will eventually be able to apply to the state for licenses to open consumption lounges, bakeries, restaurants, yoga studios, hotels, and wellness centers, as long as they don’t sell alcohol on the premises.

Can medical marijuana and recreational cannabis be sold in the same dispensary?

Yes, medical dispensaries can sell recreational cannabis, at a maximum of 3 locations. Whether new entrepreneurs will be able to apply for both licenses is yet to be known.

Consumption at dispensaries will be limited to businesses that have an on-site consumption license, but social cannabis lounges in New York are definitely on the horizon. Entrepreneurs will eventually be able to apply to the state for licenses to open consumption lounges, bakeries, restaurants, yoga studios, hotels, and wellness centers, as long as they don’t sell alcohol on the premises.

New York Cannabis License Types

There are many different license types for cannabis in New York. We are here to help you understand which one is the best for you and your business.

Cultivator License

Cultivation includes every part of the agricultural process, including planting, growing, cloning, harvesting, drying, grading, and trimming cannabis.

Registered Organization Adult-Use...

Adult-Use Cultivator, Adult-Use Processor, Adult-Use Distributor, Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Licenses

The owner of one of these licenses shall have the same authorization and conditions as the adult-use cultivator, adult-use processor, adult-use distributor, and adult-use retail dispensary licenses issued pursuant to the Act. However, the sales of adult-use cannabis and cannabis products cultivated, processed, or distributed by such organizations must be limited to the organization’s adult-use retail dispensaries and the location of such adult-use dispensaries shall be limited to the organization’s medical dispensaries premises and facilities authorized pursuant to article three of the Act.

Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator License

It would give the same authorization and conditions as an adult-use cultivator license, provided that sales of adult-use cannabis and cannabis products by such organizations shall be limited to licensed adult-use processors and such license does not qualify such organization for any other adult-use license.

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