Cannabis License Opportunities in the Northeast For Q3 2023

The Latest in Northeast Cannabis Business Updates

It seems like every day there are new and exciting updates in the cannabis industry, from Minnesota to Missouri.  We have just released a recent update for cannabis opportunities in the Midwest and now we turn our attention to the Northeast, where there is no shortage of exciting and long awaited updates to the cannabis landscape in some the most populous and diverse states in the country.

Delaware Cannabis Updates

This year has already proved exciting in the tiny state, with HB1 and HB2 becoming law without Governor John Carney’s signature and creating the Delaware Marijuana Control Act.  This Act sees a 15% retail sales tax on cannabis and cannabis products and creates a framework for pursuing cannabis licenses in Delaware. What we are most looking forward to is the issuance of upwards of 60 cultivation licenses, 30 manufacturing licenses, 30 retail licenses, and five testing licenses, a significantly high number of licenses given the state’s relatively small population (just over 1 million) and size (1,982 square miles). 

While we are still waiting for the state to open its first application windows  next year, the time is perfect to begin thinking about and working on the launch of your own business in the Diamond State. Application materials will be necessary for licensure with licenses being awarded only to qualified and exceptional applicants. Now is the time to begin building out a core team, raising funds, and preparing with business planning and financial modeling. It’s never too early to start, especially as our future competitors are already using these early pre-license materials to raise funds to make their cannabis vision a reality. 

Maryland Cannabis Updates

Like Delaware, Maryland has already had a productive year in cannabis with the passage of SB516 and HB556 which outlines a regulatory and licensing system for adult-use cannabis as well as imposes a sales and use tax on the sale of adult-use cannabis. Additionally, HB556 also establishes a multitude of departments under the renamed Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission (ATCC) that will implement and enforce these regulations, including an Office of Social Equity, an Advisory Board on Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis, and a Cannabis Regulation & Enforcement Division. Again, like Delaware, we know social equity will be a priority with the first round of licensing being dedicated to eligible social equity applicants. 

Unlike Delaware, though, things are expected to move a lot faster in Maryland. The clock is ticking now as this first round of licensing will take place on or before January 1, 2024 with the second round occurring on or before May 1, 2024. Applicants will need to submit a detailed business plan, operational plan, and diversity plan to qualify on a pass/ fail basis before having their applications be entered into a lottery. There are no property ownership or residency requirements which means we anticipate a significantly high number of individuals and businesses applying, indicating the bar for being admitted into the lottery will be high. 

Things are anticipated to move quickly with finalized regulations expected sometime in September or October, so now is the time to begin lining up your license pursuit plans and begin assembling the documents needed for the application. As is often the case in cannabis, patience is a virtue, until everything happens all at once then it is full speed ahead! Be sure to reach out to us or review some of our Maryland cannabis content for all the insight you need about operating in the Old Line State.

New Jersey Cannabis Updates

Of the states covered here, none have as mature of a cannabis market as New Jersey. “Mature” may be a bit of a misnomer, as the state’s adult-use market didn’t begin in earnest until next year. Still, you have time now to enter the booming marketplace in the Garden State which has brought in nearly $200 million in sales since the start of the year.

Individuals and businesses have two avenues in pursuing a license in New Jersey: the annual license or the conditional license. Everyone who wants to operate their cannabis business—whether it’s for cultivation, manufacturing, or retail—will have to secure an annual license. But, in order to receive this, an applicant must have local municipal approval and a property lined up where they will be operating out of. A conditional licensee can have preliminary approval to operate while they search for or wait for their local approval. There’s still plenty to dive into about New Jersey, but you can check out our How to Apply Guide in New Jersey and reach out to us for your license pursuit by trusted professionals who have helped secure state and municipal approval in North, South, and even the mythical Central Jersey.

New York Cannabis Updates

And finally New York. Oh New York. We promise NOW cannabis is finally happening in the Empire State. We have had no shortage of time in New York (though maybe we’re biased given our New York office), and have covered just about everything for everyone: cultivators, processors, retailers. Interested in delivery or a consumption facility? We’ve got you covered. What about changes to the regulations which we saw earlier this year? Got it. Addressing the legal versus the illicit market? Done. 

So, what can you do now? You want to get into New York, but you’ve felt burned before or are worried about the rampant illicit market and rollout. You’re not alone and we feel your frustration. But things are (finally) happening. After an exciting Cannabis Control Board meeting in July, we are confident that the first application window will open in October with application materials and finalized regulations coming as soon as Labor Day. Now is the time to begin reviewing the lengthy regulations, establishing a core team, and beginning the planning process for your submittable materials (which there will be a lot of). In a state primed to be at the heart of cannabis in the northeast, New York is at long last ramping up to make a green splash.

It’s Time To Start Planning Your Northeast Cannabis Business

Are you ready to open your northeast cannabis business? Don’t underestimate the ability to get a head start on application planning now to bypass competitions when critical dates are released. With a decade of experience, our cannabis consultants can take you through business plan to operation and everything in between. Whether you’re ready to cultivate, retail, or manufacture cannabis, our team can offer guidance in not just writing an application but winning a license and operating successfully. Contact Canna Advisors today to get started.

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