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How To Get A Cannabis Dispensary License In New York

Cannabis Dispensary License In New York

If you’ve ever dreamt about trying your luck in the cannabis dispensary business in New York, now’s your chance. Yes, you heard me! The application window for licensing is currently open, so it seems like this is the perfect time to explore opportunities in retail dispensaries. Don’t you think?  

What Do You Mean by Cannabis Adult-Use Dispensary License?  

Adult-use retail dispensaries serve as the primary licenses for adult-use cannabis and cannabis-related products to people who are 21 years or above. With this license, the dispensaries have the authority to procure, hold, sell, and distribute adult-use marijuana/marijuana products from their licensed premises and approved distributors, along with certain related items such as paraphernalia.  

Licensed retail dispensaries offer a welcoming space for consumers to purchase premium quality adult-use cannabis legally in New York.  

What is the Timeline for Submitting Your Dispensary License Applications?  

  • Adult-Use Applications Window Opening Date: October 4, 2023  
  • Adult-Use Applications Window Closing Date: December 18, 2023  

What are the Basic New York Cannabis Dispensary License Requirements?  

Every applicant must meet specific criteria:  

  • Be at least 21 years old, including all individuals in the ownership structure  
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident for privately held business officers and directors  
  • If it isn’t a privately traded business, over 50% of the directors & principal officers must have U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residents.  
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of the business is indispensable  
  • Disclose comprehensive information about True Parties of Interest (TPIs), including contact details and ownership percentages  

A TPI includes various roles within an applicant or licensee organization:  

  • Officers or stockholders  
  • Individuals involved in multi-level ownership structures  
  • Those with a significant financial stake, subject to specific revenue thresholds  
  • Parties with a vested interest or control over the applicant or licensee  
  • Individuals assuming financial obligations on behalf of the entity  
  • Spouses of owners, officers, or stockholders  
  • Other relevant individuals as per guidance from the Office  

Passive investors owning:  

  • 5% or more of publicly traded applicant shares  
  • 10% or more of privately held ROD and microbusiness license shares  
  • 20% or more of privately held entity shares  

The license requirements are not only the demand of the NY government for the licensing process, but they are required to maintain transparency and integrity within the cannabis industry while ensuring compliance with federal/state provisions. For step-by-step instructions or in-depth information on any of the above pointers, visit the New York Cannabis official website.   

What is the Adult-Use Dispensary Licensing Fee?   

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How Much Does It Cost to Open a Retail Dispensary?  

An adult-use cannabis dispensary license application fee in New York is $1,000 (per application), a $7,000 license fee, and an additional $3,000 for a limited retail consumption facility (additional retail dispensary licensee fee of $7,000).  

If you want to win a New York dispensary license, you need to secure a location that adheres to local zoning provisions and satisfies the specific requirements of the OCM.   

Many States require cannabis applicants to have a designated location or property before even applying for a license and the New York market is no exception. Moreover, it increases the chances of obtaining the cannabis license in the first go. However, finding the right property is a real challenge, especially when you’re thinking of securing it through lease or purchase because the costs may vary significantly according to the preferred locality.   

  1. If you’re leasing a property, then monthly costs can vary between $3,500 to $16,000, with the potential for even higher expenses depending on the specific location and property features.   
  1. If you’re thinking about buying a property, the price can vary significantly, usually falling between $128 and $390 per square foot.  

How Many Dispensaries are Currently Licensed in New York?  

In New York, the current status of cannabis licensing, as reported by the OCM, includes:  

  • 270 licensed conditional cultivators  
  • 40 licensed conditional processors and distributors  
  • 23 licensed conditional adult-use retail dispensaries  

What are the Fee Rebates for SEE Applicants?  

Social and economic equity (SEE) applicants will enjoy the following benefits to enhance access and business sustainability:  

  • SEE applicants will be granted a 50% reduction in application fees, coupled with application support provided by the Office.  
  • Eligible SEE licensees will benefit from a 50% reduction in licensing fees, along with direct support available through the Cannabis Hub and Incubator Program (CHIP)  
  • Qualified SEE applicants will receive priority in the review process for adult-use cannabis licenses  

How to Initiate the New York Cannabis Dispensary License Application Process?  

  • All applications must be submitted online  
  • Sign in to your existing, if you don’t have just create a new account on  
  • After submitting your application, use the same account to track its progress  

The license application comprises 2 to 4 main sections, which include the Primary License Application, Social and Economic Equity (SEE) Certification, True Parties of Interest (TPI) Disclosures, and the Location and Operations Section.  

For further details on cannabis retail license applications, you can refer to the guide provided by the NY Office of Cannabis Management.  

So, these are the following steps to get a cannabis dispensary license in New York. Staying up to date about the latest developments in the industry will surely increase your chances of getting an adult-use dispensary license in New York.

Good luck with your journey!  

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