NEW YORK CANNABIS PROGRAM

NEW YORK

Overview:

Medical and Adult-use marijuana is now legal in New York. New York legalized adult-use marijuana on March 31, 2021 through the passing of Senate Bill S854A, allowing for marijuana possession and consumption for individuals 21 years and older. Access to marijuana will be through state licensed marijuana businesses – learn more about how to get a New York cannabis business license or schedule a complimentary consultation with our licensing expert, below.

Hemp

Yes

Medical Marijuana

Yes

Adult-Use

Yes

When To Apply

Q1 2022

News

TYPES OF NEW YORK CANNABIS BUSINESSES

New York Medical Cannabis Registered Organization – can grow medical cannabis plants; extract, process and produce medical cannabis products; and dispense to registered patients. There is a limit of ten (10) business licenses allowed for New York Medical Cannabis Registered Organization within the state. Each licensee is allowed to operate up to four (4) stand-alone dispensaries. Registered Organizations will be allowed to open four (4) additional adult-use retail facilities, bringing their total to 8 retail locations.

Adult-Use Cultivator: An  adult-use  cultivator’s license  shall  authorize  the  acquisition,  possession,  distribution, cultivation and sale of cannabis to licensed processors. Cultivation shall include, but not be limited to, the agricultural production practices of planting,  growing, cloning, harvesting, drying, curing, grading and trimming of cannabis.

    • The board  may  establish  regulations  allowing  licensed adult-use  cultivators  to  perform  certain types of minimal processing without the need for an adult-use processor license.
    • A person holding an adult-use cultivator’s license may apply for, and obtain, one processor’s license and one distributor’s license solely for the distribution of their own products.
    • A person holding an adult-use cultivator’s license  may  not  also hold  a retail dispensary license.
    • No person  may have a direct or indirect financial or controlling interest in more than one adult-use cultivator license, provided  that  one adult-use cultivator license may authorize adult-use cultivation in more than one location.

 

Nursery: A  nursery  license  shall  authorize  the production, sale and distribution of clones, immature plants, seeds, and other agricultural  products used specifically for the planting, propagation, and cultivation of cannabis by licensed adult-use cultivators, cooperatives,  microbusinesses or registered organizations.

    • A person  or entity holding an adult-use cultivator’s license may apply for, and obtain, one nursery license to  sell  directly  to  other cultivators, cooperatives, microbusinesses, or registered organizations.

 

Adult-use Processor: A processor’s license shall authorize the acquisition, possession, processing and sale  of  cannabis from adult-use cultivators to licensed processors  or  distributors. Processing shall include, but not be limited  to, blending, extracting, infusing, packaging, labeling, branding and otherwise making  or  preparing  cannabis  products. Processing shall not include the cultivation of cannabis.

    • A person  holding  an adult-use  processor’s  license may apply for, and obtain, one distributor’s license solely for the distribution of their own products.
    • No processor shall be engaged in any other business on the premises to be licensed; except that a person issued an adult-use cannabis cultivator, processor,  and/or  distributor license may hold and operate all issued licenses on the same premises.
    • No cannabis processor licensee may hold  more  than  one  cannabis processor  license  provided  a  single  license may authorize processor activities at multiple locations.
    • No adult-use cannabis  processor shall have a direct or indirect interest in any premises licensed as an adult-use cannabis retail dispensary.

 

Adult-use Retail Dispensary:A  retail  dispensary license  shall  authorize the acquisition, possession, sale and delivery of cannabis to cannabis consumers.

    • No person  may have a direct or indirect financial or controlling interest in more than three adult-use retail dispensary licenses.
    • No person  holding  a  retail dispensary license may also hold an adult-use cultivation, processor, microbusiness, cooperative or distributor license.
    • No cannabis retail licensee shall locate a storefront within 500 feet of a school grounds or within 200 feet of a house of worship.

 

Microbusiness: A microbusiness license shall authorize  the  limited  cultivation,  processing, distribution, delivery, and dispensing of their own adult-use cannabis and cannabis products.

    • Microbusiness licensee may not hold any direct or indirect interest in any other license and may only distribute its own cannabis and cannabis products to dispensaries.
    • The size, scope and eligibility criteria of a microbusiness  shall be determined by the program’s regulatory agency.  The  granting of such licenses shall promote social and economic equity applicants.

 

Adult-use Distributor: A distributor’s license shall authorize the acquisition, possession, distribution and sale of cannabis from a licensed adult-use cultivator,  processor,  adult-use  cooperative,  microbusiness,  or registered organization to sell adult-use cannabis to licensed retail dispensaries and on-site consumption sites.

    • No distributor shall have a direct or indirect economic interest in any microbusiness,  adult-use  retail  dispensary,  adult-use  on-site consumption licensee or in any registered organization.
    • Any distributor  with a direct or indirect interest in a licensed cultivator or processor, shall  only  distribute cannabis  or  cannabis products cultivated and/or processed by such licensee.

 

Delivery:A delivery license shall authorize the delivery of cannabis and cannabis products by licensees independent of another  adult-use cannabis license, provided that each delivery licensee may have a total of no more than twenty-five individuals, or the  equivalent thereof,  providing full-time paid delivery services to cannabis consumers per week under one license.

    • No person may have a  direct  or indirect  financial  or  controlling  interest in more than one delivery license.
    • The granting of such licenses shall promote social and economic equity applicants.

 

Adult-Use Consumption: A license that allows for the consumption of cannabis in an area.

    • No person may have a direct or indirect  financial  or  controlling interest  in  more  than  three  adult-use  on-site consumption licenses.
    • No person holding an adult-use on-site consumption license may also hold an adult-use retail dispensary, cultivation, processor,  microbusiness,  cooperative or distributor license or be registered as a registered organization.
    • Adult-use on-site consumption facilities must be at least  500 feet from school  grounds or 200 feet from a house of worship.

 

Adult-use Cooperative:A cooperative  license  shall authorize the acquisition, possession, cultivation, processing, distribution  and sale of cannabis to licensed  distributors,  on-site  consumption sites,  registered  organization  and/or  retail dispensaries; but not directly to cannabis consumers.

    • To be licensed as an adult-use cooperative, the cooperative must be comprised of residents of the state of New York.
    • No natural person or member of an adult-use cooperative license may have a direct or indirect financial or controlling interest in any other adult-use cannabis license.
    • The board  shall  promulgate  regulations  governing  cooperative licenses, including, but not limited to,  the  establishment  of  canopy limits  on  the size and scope of cooperative licensees, and other measures designed to incentivize the use and licensure of cooperatives.

 

A newly formed regulatory agency will determine the number of licenses for each license type based on market demand.

Social Equity Program

The regulatory agency shall create and implement a social and economic equity plan and  actively  promote applicants  from communities  disproportionately  impacted  by  cannabis prohibition, and promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity when issuing  licenses  for adult-use  cannabis  related  activities.

A goal shall be established  to  award  50%  of  adult-use  cannabis licenses  to  social and economic equity applicants and ensure inclusion of:

    • individuals from communities disproportionately impacted  by  the enforcement of cannabis prohibition;
    • minority-owned businesses;
    • women-owned businesses;
    • minority and women-owned businesses;
    • distressed farmers; and
    • service-disabled veterans.

 

The social and economic equity plan shall require the consideration of additional criteria in its licensing determinations. Under the social and  economic equity plan, extra priority shall be given to applications that demonstrate that an applicant:

  • is a member of a community  disproportionately  impacted  by  the enforcement of cannabis prohibition;
  • has an  income lower than 80% of the median income of the county in which the applicant resides; and
  • was convicted of a marihuana-related offense or had a parent, guardian, child, spouse, or dependent, or was a dependent of an individual who, prior to the effective date of this bill, was convicted of a marihuana-related offense.

HOW TO START A MARIJUANA BUSINESS IN NEW YORK

To obtain a marijuana business license in New York, you will be required to submit an application. As part of the application, some of the plans you will need to include the following:

    • Security Plan
    • Environmental Impact Plan
    • Quality Control and Quality Assurance Plan
    • Business History Plan
    • Financial Plan
    • Community Benefits Plan
    • Research Plan
    • Cultivation, Manufacturing and/or Dispensing Plan
    • Labor Compliance Plan
    • Staffing and Training Plan

 

Schedule for a complimentary 15-min consult with our licensing/application expert to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.


NEW YORK MARIJUANA TIMELINE

  • 2014 – New York legalized medical cannabis
  • 2015 – New York licensing period for cannabis businesses
  • 2016 – First New York cannabis businesses opened and medical cannabis sales began
  • Jan 2021 – Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act reintroduced
  • March 31 2021 – New York Legalizes Adult-Use Marijuana
  • April 1, 2021 – Adult-Use Marijuana bill goes into effect.
  • Dec 2021 – Local municipalities have until Dec 2021 to opt-out of the marijuana program (preventing marijuana businesses within their local jurisdiction).
  • Q1 2022 – Estimate time for state to begin accepting applications for adult-use marijuana businesses.

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    "Cannabis Business Advisors is a world-class company. Their tactical and strategic knowledge will guide any business to success. CB Advisors' advice and counsel played a key role in making Strive Life the only locally awarded dispensary in North Dakota."

    - Jonathan O'KeefeDispensary Owner, Strive Life Grand Forks

    "SARA’S SUCCESS SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. OUR COMPANY CONTINUES TO ENGAGE SARA FOR ONGOING CONSULTING AND HER ADVICE REMAINS SOLID AND RELEVANT TO OUR GROWTH."

    - JonathanOwner, Firefly Dispensaries in Pennsylvania.

    "WORKING WITH SARA WAS A PLEASURE. WE DON’T KNOW HOW WE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH THE APPLICATION PROCESS WITHOUT HER."

    - Kristina BeglarianArizona Vertically Integrated Facility Owner

    "Sara reduced much of the management team’s stress by her knowledge, execution, resolving conflicts, and firm but confident approach."

    - Dr. Robert CaprettoChairman, Solevo Wellness

    "Sara’s success speaks for itself. Our company continues to engage Sara for ongoing consulting and her advice remains solid and relevant to our growth."

    - JonathanOwner, Firefly Dispensaries in Pennsylvania.

    "Working with Sara was a pleasure. We don’t know how we would have gotten through the application process without her."

    -Kristina BeglarianArizona Vertically Integrated Facility Owner