Applying for New York Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License

What is a NY CAURD License and How Do I Qualify & Apply?

August 11 Update: OCM announced they will start accepting CAURD applications on August 25, 2022, and the application window will close on September 26.


You may be in a position where you qualify for a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license in New York, which provides accelerated access and benefits. 

But what do you need to do? This can serve as a helpful guide for those interested in applying for this license and offer some insight into what the Cannabis Control Board is requiring. 

How to Qualify 

A quick refresher on the two major criteria for qualifying for this license. 

  1. You must be a Justice Involved individual. Justice Involved means someone who has been convicted of a marihuana-related offense in New York State before March 31, 2021, or is the parent, spouse, child, guardian, or dependent of someone who has been convicted of a marihuana-related offense in New York State before March 31, 2021. 
  2. The Justice Involved individual with sole control and 30% ownership of the applicant, must currently hold or have held in the past for a minimum of two years, at least 10% ownership interest in, and have exercised control over, a qualifying business; and that business must have had a net profit for at least 2 years during the time that the individual held the ownership interest in the business.

How to Apply

Once you confirm that you qualify, on to the application, itself. 

A mockup of the application is available on the Office of Cannabis Management website. Here we’ll break down the 51-pages to make things a bit more digestible. 

For this purpose, we have divided the application into 10 primary categories. 

1.  General Business Information

This includes fairly basic information about the business. For the application’s purpose, a business is legally organized into one of three types: individual/ sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation. Here you’ll upload information such as contact information, physical and mailing addresses, and NAICS Code, if applicable. 

2.  Applicant Type

This is a fairly short, predominantly “Yes” or “No” section asking about the organizational structure of the applicant. 

3.  Ownership

Here more information is required about the ownership of the business with background information required about all passive investors, including those who are Justice Involved. 

These investors, both individuals and businesses, will then be categorized into Justice Involved and non-Justice Involved investors, necessitating a 51% minimum Justice Involved ownership. You will also need to attest that the business principal with sole control over the CAURD applicant has a significant presence in New York. 

4.  Justice Involved

This is where the first major document uploads are required. 

Here proof will be required about the Justice Involved individuals qualifying status and/or relationship to the applicant. You will need to submit at least one piece of acceptable documentation to provide proof of the marihuana-related offense. 

This can include a Certificate of Disposition, a record of judgment and conviction, or a record of plea, verdict and sentence amongst other items. You will also need to provide proof of residency in New York at the time of the marihuana-related offense which can include uploading copies of a government ID with an address on it, a utility bill, or a pay stub. 

5.  Qualifying Businesses and Nonprofits

This large section, similar to the previous one, will require a sizable amount of documents to upload. 

This will include proof of ownership specifically for the Justice Involved individuals, tax documents, such as a W3 form, and proof of operating at a given location, such as utility bill, rental agreement, title or deed to the property. 

Operations of the business will also need to be described in detail. This will also require an organizational chart and a plan in case the applicant, directors, trustees, or officers decide to leave the business. This is true for both qualifying businesses and or nonprofits, which can also apply for this license. 

6.  Overview

Here, a few documents are required for upload such as certification of the business being a certified Minority-Owned Business, Woman-Owned Business, Minority Woman-Owned Business or Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Business. 

Among these other documents required will be a list of vendors, agreement between the applicant and any person with a financial interest in the applicant’s business, and records of charitable donations made in the last five years.

7.  Geographic Presence 

This is a straightforward section where the applicant will be able to select up to five geographic regions, in order of preference, where the applicant would prefer to operate. 

8.  True Parties of Interest

All true parties of interest will be disclosed here if they have not already been included in any of the above sections. 

Details about their basis for the ownership/ nature of position will also be required, as some forms which need to be filled out regarding including the Entity History Disclosure and a New York State Department of Tax and Finance Clearance Form which can be found on the Licensing Page of the Office of Cannabis Management’s website.  

9.  Financing

Here you will find all the requirements to show details and upload documents about cash on-hand, borrowed funds, and actual or anticipated expenses in the coming year for the business. You will need to upload documents verifying this information such as bank statements. 

10.  Concluding Information and Payment

This final section of the application touches on a variety of different items but is relatively quick to get through. 

This touches on trade secrets, contact information for the individual submitting the application, and proof that said individual is over the age of 21. There are a couple of attestations and finally information on the non-refundable $2,000 application and licensing fee.  

Need Help with Your NY License Application? 

There is a lot within the CAURD application and it can, understandably, feel like a daunting task.

The New York cannabis consultants at Canna Advisors would be more than happy to help answer any questions or generate necessary materials for interested applicants. Don’t hesitate to reach out through this link if you’re interested in applying for this license or have general questions about the CAURD license.

Next Steps After Applying

You have finally submitted all the necessary materials for your conditional retail dispensary license. That’s fantastic! After you have submitted your non-refundable application and licensing fee, the Cannabis Control Board will review the application. While the Board has not yet released a deadline for CAURD applications, we anticipate the application window will begin at the end of this summer and will be open for at least 30 days. 

During this window, the Cannabis Control Board will begin reviewing and approving licenses at their meetings which can be live streamed through this link

Hopefully soon, you will be seeing your application approved and be able to enter the legal, adult-use cannabis market in New York!


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