We finally have an outline of the licensing and operation procedures for dispensaries, delivery services, and thousands of other prospective cannabis entrepreneurs eager to submit applications. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the process, regulations, and the different pathways you could take to licensure. There isn’t a cap on the number of applications the OCM will review so you should start yours today.
What are the New York cannabis regulations?
The new regulations introduce guidelines for licensing eight different types of businesses in the cannabis industry, including nurseries, cultivators, processors, cooperatives, distributors, retail dispensaries, delivery services, and microbusinesses. Except for microbusinesses, which have the flexibility to handle their cultivation, processing, and sales on a smaller scale, these licenses fall into two main categories: supply and retail. The regulations are designed to prevent any single entity from dominating the market by prohibiting most individuals and companies from holding ownership stakes in the supply and retail sectors.
Moreover, the rules define criteria for attaining priority status as a social and economic equity applicant. These applicants are individuals disproportionately affected by anti-marijuana enforcement, minority- and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veterans. These regulations aim to promote fairness and inclusivity within the cannabis industry.
Social and Economic Equity Certification
You can have your application and licensing fees reduced by 50% if you qualify for any of the following categories:
- individuals from a community disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition;
- woman-owned businesses;
- minority-owned business;
- service-disabled veteran-owned businesses; and
- distressed farmers.
How will the regulations impact existing cannabis businesses?
Starting in December, companies already licensed to provide medical cannabis can enter the adult-use, recreational market as retailers and wholesalers. Aside from microbusinesses, these licensed companies have the privilege of growing, manufacturing, and selling their cannabis products.
To make this transition, these companies must pay a special licensing fee of $20 million, which grants them the right to operate up to three adult-use dispensaries in locations where they already sell medical cannabis. Currently, there are over 300 cultivators and processors operating with conditional licenses. Those in good standing will have the opportunity to transition to a general (non-conditional) license. The cannabis industry has faced challenges due to a lack of funding and court-ordered freezes on licensing. This has resulted in a shortage of retail outlets, causing farmers and manufacturers to hold a substantial inventory of cannabis valued at approximately $6 billion this fall.
What comes next in the process?
The application window will open on October 4 for 60 days. The fees for applications and licensing vary, ranging from $750 to $300,000, not including the unique cost for medical cannabis companies. Equity applicants will enjoy reduced fees and access to mentorship, training, and technical support through a network of support centers established by the state.
New York has increased the number of available licenses. It is estimated that the state may require nearly 2,000 dispensaries to meet consumer demand alone. It’s worth noting that officials have not proposed regulations on on-site consumption, such as smoking lounges authorized by the legalization law.
New York Cannabis License Application Walkthrough
These are the steps you’ll need to take when going through the application process:
- Business Entity Information
- FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number)
- Business Type
- Legal Name and DBA
- Location Information
- Business Physical Address information (Primary Location for business)
- Additional Physical Locations
- Mailing Address
- Contact information
- NAICS Code Selection
- Owner Information and Eligibility Questions
- True Parties of Interest Information
- Social and Economic Equity (SEE) Status / Eligibility
- Labor Peace Agreement
- Location Hours of Operation
- Local Approval Documentation and Certificate of Occupancy
- License Specific Location Activity Information
How we can help?
At Cannabis License Experts, we provide you with the guidance to plan your cannabis business, acquire funding, navigate the legal requirements, and acquire the appropriate cannabis license for your operations. As the New York cannabis industry develops, more and more licensed producers will be needed to meet the demands of consumers as Cannabis dispensaries in New York increase in number.
Cannabis License Experts offers support from day one of starting your cannabis business, including strategic planning, floor plan preparation, site audits, SOPs, Preventive Control Plans (PCPs), and more.
Our Edibles Compliance division can provide you with a solid plan for your edibles business to help get your products on store shelves.
Contact us today to discover how we can license and legalize your cannabis business to meet federal or provincial regulations.