New York Finally Releases Its Cannabis Licensing Regulations

The Cannabis Business Application Window Opens October 4

September 12 and October 4, 2023. These are the days which will likely be engrained in the minds of hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals working in—or eager to be working in—New York’s cannabis industry. The first date is when we finally had the last round of regulations for the adult-use program approved of by the Cannabis Control Board and the second is when the adult-use application window for cultivators, processors, microbusinesses, distributors, and retail dispensaries will be open.


60-Day Timeline For License Applicants

As mentioned above, October 4 is the next big day to be eyeing. This is when the application window for some licenses will be made available. Keyword: some. Not all.

Licenses for nurseries, delivery, and consumption facilities will not be open for submission on that date but will be available later. Applicants will have 60 days to submit all the information and materials necessary to be awarded a provisional license. Those with a property, and who submit the property information in this application process, will be able to have their applications fast tracked and reviewed at the 30-day mark. This is a significant change from what had initially been believed was going to be a rolling application, so now is the first and potentially last chance for the foreseeable future to apply for licenses as a cultivator, processor, microbusiness, distributor, and retail dispensary.

Social and Economic Equity Application Requirements

Alongside the cannabis business type license application, individuals will be able to submit information and materials to see if they qualify as a social and economic equity (“SEE”) applicant. The Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act sets out a goal to award 50% of all licenses to social and economic equity applicants.

To qualify for SEE status, an applicant will need to have women, racial or ethnic minorities, service-disabled veterans, and/or individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement own and operate 51% of the business. Documentation will be needed to qualify which includes either a sworn deceleration of this status or additional materials such as a state MWBE certification or certification from the New York State Office of General Services Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development. All qualifying SEE applicants will be able to have their application and licensing fees reduced by half.

Cannabis License Fees: Not One-Size-Fits-All

As mentioned above, SEE applicants will be able to see their application and licensing fees reduced by half. Otherwise, all applicants will need to submit a non-refundable $1,000 application fee. Additionally, there will be fees based on which license type you are pursuing. These can range greatly for a retail dispensary ($7,000), to a processor (which can range from $2,000-$7,000 depending on what types of processing one would like to pursue), cultivator (anywhere from $1,150 for an outdoor tier 1 to over $100,000 for an indoor tier 5) or a microbusiness ($4,500). For cultivators specifically, be sure to research thoroughly what canopy type and size you would like to pursue, and bear in mind the Board has recommended erring on the smaller side for now and then growing as the business grows.


A Look Inside the New York Cannabis Application Portal

We got a first look at the state’s application portal, though if you’re a conditional license holder such as a conditionally licensed cultivator, processor, or retail dispensary, this may look familiar to you. Most of the information required for the application is similar, if not in many cases identical, to what was required for conditionally licensed applicants. The Board has stressed that now could be an opportune time for these conditionally licensed businesses to apply and transition to a full license. Some information which is required for this application portal includes a continuity plan, an organizational chart, information related to true parties of interest, property information (if a property has been secured), and histories with community involvement and leadership roles, with dates, and more.

It’s Not Over Yet: Canna Advisors Can Get You To The Finish Line

There is a lot to be gleamed from these regulations and sample of the application window, and we believe Board Chair Tremaine Wright said it best; “A friendly reminder: This is just the beginning, and we have a long and exciting road ahead.”

Other plans and supplemental information cited in the regulations such as fingerprints and background checks, a community impact plan, employee handbook, operating plan, and energy and environmental plan, will still be required for a provisional licensee to transition to an operational licensee. So, remember, just because it’s not in the portal, doesn’t mean it’s not required.  

Canna Advisors can assist you through the entire process from initial application submittal to preparing operational plans, SOPs, and other supplemental material required by the regulations. With boots on the ground in our New York Office and decades of experience ushering in cannabis licenses along the East Coast, we’re ready to help

Contact our consulting experts to discover how Canna Advisors can help you prepare to open your doors.

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