The Office of Cannabis Management's (OCM) adult-use cannabis market was established upon the passage of the Cannabis Law in March 2021. The Cannabis Law legalized cannabis for adults 21 years of age or older, but cannabis legalization represents more than a shift in New York’s drug policies — it introduces a path forward for New York, to bring economic opportunities to every corner of the State, to build an equitable cannabis industry, and to set a new example of how this market can be used as a tool to improve our communities when entrepreneurs are equipped with adequate resources and education.
OCM is charged with overseeing the adult-use, medical, and cannabinoid hemp industries in New York, as well as establishing the regulations governing how and when a person or business may apply for and receive a license. With a goal of awarding 50% of all licenses to Social and Economic Equity (SEE) applicants, OCM will actively promote the participation of individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition policies, minority and women owned businesses, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veterans.
To date, the OCM has licensed 270 conditional cultivators, 40 conditional processors, distributors, and 23 conditional adult-use retail dispensaries to grow, distribute, and sell cannabis across New York State. Entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to be a part of history. If you are interested in becoming a New York State cannabis licensee, explore the Adult-Use Applications resources available below to learn more about the process to licensure, FAQ, and to learn more about the rules.
The application window opening October 4 will include five license types.
The New York State adult-use cannabis license application will be available starting October 4, 2023 for the cultivator, processor, distributor, microbusiness, and retail dispensary license types. All adult-use license applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM EST on Monday, December 18, 2023.
The journey through New York State Adult-Use Cannabis License Applications will have between 2 and 4 parts including:
- Primary License Application
- Social and Economic Equity (SEE) Certification
- True Parties of Interest (TPI) Disclosures
- Location and Operations Section
Note: For retail dispensary and microbusiness applicants that are applying with proof of control over the proposed licensed premises, there will be an expedited application window that will close on Friday, November 17, 2023, at 5:00PM Eastern Time. The Office will begin the review of applications submitted during this window to expedite the review of retail dispensary and microbusiness applications. The retail dispensary and microbusiness application window will remain open after November 17, 2023, until December 18, 2023, for applicants that apply after November 17, or are applying for a provisional license (without proof of control over the proposed licensed premises). You can submit a provisional license retail dispensary or microbusiness application anytime during the open application window.
For the cultivator, processor and distributor licenses proof of control over the proposed licensed premise is required for application submission. Do not apply for a cultivator, processor or distributor license if you do not have control over the proposed licensed premise.
Should a license be granted, the license fee will vary based on a variety of operational factors, including canopy size, planned business activities and SEE certification.
SEE entrepreneurs will be eligible for the following benefits in order to promote access and business viability:
- SEE applicants will receive a 50% reduction on application fees and application assistance from the Office.
- Eligible SEE licensees will receive a 50% reduction in licensing fees and direct support through the Cannabis Hub and Incubator Program (CHIP).
- Eligible SEE applicants will receive license review priority for adult-use cannabis licenses.
Adult-Use Application Open: Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Adult-Use Application Closes for Licenses: Monday, December 18, 2023 at 5:00PM EST
For applicants applying for the retail dispensary and microbusiness license with proof of control over a location, there will be an expedited application window that closes on November 17, 2023 at 5:00PM EST
The True Party of Interest (TPI) framework in New York State is designed to protect the integrity of the two-tier cannabis market architecture and establish procedures for monitoring and enforcing the vertical and horizontal ownership restrictions. Ensuring compliance with TPI requirements is necessary for safeguarding the independence and autonomy of New York’s adult-use cannabis licensees. All cannabis licensees have True Parties of Interest (TPI). All TPI have either a direct or indirect interest in a license, but can be further categorized as:
- A direct or indirect financial or controlling interest (DIFCI), or
- A passive investor (PI).
Whether a person with a right to receive revenue or profit and Goods and Services providers is a TPI is based on the 10%/50%/$250,000 (10/50/250) rule. This rule states that a person has a financial and controlling interest, becoming a TPI in a license if, over the course of a calendar year, they receive the right to or actual payment from a licensee exceeding the greatest of:
- 10% of the payor licensee’s gross revenues;
- 50% of the payor licensee’s net profits; or
Goods and Services Agreements (Section 124.3) creates a framework for non-licensee third parties interacting in various ways with licensees. These rules establish two classes of goods and services provider: exempt (which includes arrangements licensees have with their landlords, financiers, part-time CFOs, lawyers, accountants, and other goods and services providers who do not consult on plant-touching activities), and non-exempt (which includes arrangements licensees have with third-parties consulting on the licensee’s cannabis related activities). In addition, this section dictates the way these third parties can be compensated, and how agreements that are “stacked” together will be treated by the office.
All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and all application resources to learn more about how to obtain and operate an adult-use cannabis license in New York State. Please note that this is only the first application window for general adult-use cannabis licensing. Future application windows for licenses such as nursery, delivery, cooperative or collective, and on-site consumption are anticipated. Please email [email protected] if you have any further questions.