New York Marijuana Business Licenses

Medical Marijuana in New York

In 2014, the New York Legislature enacted the Compassionate Care Act, creating Public Health Law §§ 3360–3369 and Codes, Rules, and Regulations tit. 10, pt. 1004. This Act legalized medical marijuana use for qualified patients with severe conditions. The State of New York only appointed a limited number of vendors, requiring them to vertically integrate their services, from seed to sale. Since then, the qualifying conditions loosened some to include chronic pain, treatment for PTSD, and opioid addiction. See 10 NYCCR §§ 1004.1, 1004.2(8)(a)(xi)–(xiii). There are currently ten (10) licensed registered organizations.

Recreational Marijuana Use in New York

On March 31, 2021, the Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (“MRTA“) was signed into law legalizing recreational, adult-use (21+) of marijuana. This legislation established a new Office of Cannabis Management (“OCM”) governed by the Cannabis Control Board to oversee not only the recreational program, but also the state’s pre-existing medical marijuana program. Furthermore, in October 2021, the Cannabis Control Board further advanced regulations by proposing at-home cultivation for medical marijuana patients’ personal use. In addition, the OCM will actively promote “social and economic equity” applicants who have been harmed by the prohibition of cannabis for adult-use licenses. For the MRTA’s regulatory framework, you can stay up-to-date of proposed and existing regulations by clicking here.

On September 12th, 2023, the OCM approved of the final regulations to open a new general application round on October 4th, 2023, and until December 4th, 2023 at 5 PM (ET).

Upcoming Marijuana Business License Applications

New York’s OCM accepted applications for general Cultivator, Processor, Retailer, Distributor, & Microbusiness licenses on October 4th, 2023. The sixty (60)-day application window was open until December 18th, 2023, by 5 PM (ET).

The application fee was $1,000 dollars, and could be reduced by 50% if the applicant qualifies as a Social and Economic Equity applicant. A Social and Economic Equity applicant includes: an individual from a community disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition; minority-owned businesses; women-owned businesses; distressed farmers; and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

After the OCM’s September 12th meeting, they released an Adult-Use Sample Application Guide, which allowed interested applicants to review the portal’s contents prior to the application window opening. As a brief overview, applicants were required to provide sufficient information and documentation regarding their business including, but not limited to, entity type, addresses, contact information, members, and more. Further, there was general and specific-license type inquiries applicants must complete prior to submission such as eligibility questions, disclosures of true parties of interest (“TPIs”), business compliance, and more.

Now is the time to get started with your strategic business plan as there will likely be another application round for license types that were not available in the 2023 application window!  It is crucial to have a team of experts by your side to guide you through this newly developed process. If you are interested in acquiring a New York Marijuana Business License, contact us to discuss your options.

Last Updated: May 31st, 2024

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