New York Cannabis Business Opportunities

Start Preparing Your Cannabis License In New York

The OCM has started issuing licenses.

Contact our experts to learn what’s next.


How to Open Your New York Cannabis Business

On October 4, the OCM opened the licensing portal to submit New York cannabis business license applications. The portal closed on December 18th with a whopping 6,900 licenses submitted, but for applicants, this is just the beginning.

You will need 3 things to open your doors:


  1. State regulation experts
  2. Operating experts
  3. Market development experts


Leverage the Power of Experienced New York Cannabis Consultants

Our winning team brings all of this expertise. We know what you’re up against and we know what it takes to get your doors open quickly after receiving a license. Canna Advisors already has successful cultivation, manufacturing and retail clients in New York. Our local, New York team is backed by our extensive team that has won licenses and helped build successful cannabis businesses in 39 states and internationally. 


Join The Empire State of Cannabis

Contact our New York cannabis consultants today to discuss what you should be doing now to be properly positioned to open your doors as soon as your license is in-hand. Our New York-based team will be glad to meet with you at our office in NYC or any location in the state that is convenient for you.

How to Prepare to Open Your New York Cannabis Business

Secure Your Property as Soon as Possible

Now that the application window has closed, it's time for the real work to start. If you have yet to secure a property, that is your top priority as you wait to receive your license. Some applicants such as cultivators, select processors, and distributors were required to submit their application with proof of property either by lease or ownership. However, retailers, type three processors, and microbusiness were not required to show a property during submission, so competition could still be fierce in cannabis real estate.

Your Plans will Still be Required After Your Receive Your License

Though this initial application seemed quite simple, it will only be enough to secure a provisional license. We expect a separate process to approve licensees to operate that will include extensive business and operational plans, floor plans, security measurements, and more.


How to Attract Investors Before Opening Your Doors

If you're a retailer with a property, now is the time to secure your finances and attract investors through business plans and financial models. Whether awaiting a license or actively setting up operations, the immediate focus should be on identifying and involving key individuals. This proactive approach becomes even more critical as it sets the stage for essential pre-operational tasks such as securing equipment, building a team, finding the right property, and business development.

Define Your True Parties of Interest

In addition to secure investors, hopeful operators must fill out a TPI Disclosure Form after submitting their application. All True Parties of Interest that were outlined in the original application should have received an email from the OCM notifying them of their participation in the application. It is paramount that all TPIs fill out these disclosure forms.

Rules, Regulations & Important Requirements for New York Adult-Use Cannabis Licenses

2023 Application Portal & License Requirements

The New York application portal closed on December 18th and retailers with secured property had until November 3rd to submit and be a part of the expedited review process. Those who did not submit with a property should be working on securing one now because you'll need it the second your license is awarded.


Licenses Available

Retail, microbusiness, cultivation, distributor, and processor licenses will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, with those with a property given extra priority. According to the OCM, they are anticipating to issue at least this amount of licenses per category. While these numbers are just estimates, the OCM has stated the authority to award more licenses.


  • Retail Dispensary: 500 – 1000
  • Microbusiness: 220
  • Indoor Cultivation (Tier 1): 20
  • Indoor Cultivation (Tier 2): 20
  • Processor (Type 1): 55. Includes extracting, and activities of Types 2 and 3.
  • Processor (Type 2): 100. Includes infusing and blending, and activities of Type 3.
  • Processor (Type 3): No allocation limit (rolling review). Includes packaging, labeling, and branding for performance of white labeling agreements only.
  • Distributor: 30


Required Plans Once You Obtain Your Provisional License

To initiate cannabis cultivation, processing, or retail operations, individuals cannot solely rely on a provisional license. They must also submit supplementary plans such as:

  • Security and employee training and safety plan
  • Overview of all authorized activities
  • Quality assurance plan
  • Cannabis recall plan
  • Cannabis testing plan
  • Energy and Environmental Plan
  • Eleven (11) detailed sections ranging from hazardous waste to carbon footprint and sustainability and conservation, waste management, including detailed strategy to measure, track, record, performance and execution of the plan


Our New York Consultants Are Planning Experts

Contact our winning license application team today to begin building all of your plans. You'll want to have your plans ready for as soon as you're approved for a provisional license.


New York Adult-Use License Operational Requirements For All License Types

For both seasoned business owners and new cannabis entrepreneurs, there is a wide range of business license types available. Each type comes with its own unique risks and rewards, but our team is well-versed in helping you find a match based on your own experience and future goals.




New York Adult-Use Cultivation (Grower) Operator Applications

The regulations create Five (5) tiers of cultivation licenses for adult-use in New York. They are differentiated by light source with allowed square footage between 5,000 to 100,000 square feet.

Cultivation-Specific Requirements

In addition to the light and space differentiation, there are a handful of cultivation-specific requirements:

  • Soil or growing medium preparation plan
  • Pest management and control plan
  • Emergency spill management procedures



New York Adult-Use Processing Operator Applications

The New York adult-use regulations create three (3) types of processing licenses that roughly break down by the level of manufacturing and capital involved for each type:

1) Minimal processing: Branding, packaging, and labeling

2) Blending and Infusing: Must have GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) facility

3) Extraction: Also must have GMP facility

Processing-Specific Requirements

All of the items above will be required, plus these that are processing-specific:

  • Extraction Process Overview: description of methods of extraction, including chemical solvents, other materials, and equipment
  • Emergency Plan Overview: Listing of emergency spill management procedures and plans



New York Adult-Use Retail (Dispensary) Operator Applications

A standard New York retail cannabis license still has a handful of core requirements worth noting:

  • A Listing of the current employee in charge and SOPs for their responsibilities
  • Documentation demonstrating compliance with Section 123.10(f)(1)
  • Procedures to remain compliant with local ordinances pertaining to odor, noise, outdoor lines, and max capacity



New York Delivery Operator Applications

The cannabis delivery license alone will not allow you to sell cannabis. Instead you'll want to couple this with a retail or microbusiness license. Delivery employees can deliver in a multitude of vehicles include bikes, scooters, and on foot, but the amount of cannabis allowed within the vehicle varies based on the type. Enclosed vehicles can carry up to $20,000 worth of cannabis while unenclosed vehicles may only carry $5,000 worth of cannabis.

Note: A Delivery Plan is required



New York On-Site Consumption Facility Operator Applications

Similar to the delivery license, the on-site consumption license will only be allowed to operate with a retail or microbusiness license and will need extensive planning for ventilation and odor mitigation.



New York Integrated Microbusiness Operator Applications

The regulations set the allowed canopy size at 3,500 square feet indoor or 10,000 square feet outdoor. The regulations also allow micro operations to have retail locations that are distinct from their cultivation and processing facility.



New York Provisional Operator Applications

Applicants can be awarded a provisional license, receiving “pre-approval” for operating from the state which lasts for 12-months so they can subsequently search for a suitable location and expand the business’s team.

Start working with our team of license application experts now. Book your application consultation now.

New York Cannabis Industry Projections

Registered medical marijuana patients (2019)

Spending Forecast

Compounded annual growth rate

Image Data Source: "The State of Legal Marijuana Markets" by Arcview Market Research / BDS Analytics, 7th Edition.

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