11 New York Cannabis Licenses | What should I know?

New York Cannabis Licenses type
Grant Emoff

Grant Emoff

There are currently 11 New York Cannabis Licenses, with two having been added recently.  At this time, we don’t have clear details on what the licensing application process will look like. However, it’s anticipated that regulations will come within the next 120 days.   The first 9 New York cannabis license types will be issued for new businesses in the upcoming licensing rounds, with the last 2 being available to currently licensed hemp growers.

So, what are these 11 license types, and what should you know about them?  Here’s a brief summary, so let’s dive right in.  

Adult-use Cultivator License

The Adult-use cultivator license allows license holders to plant, grow, clone, harvest, dry, cure, grade, and trim cannabis products within the licensed facility’s premises. Owners of this license type may apply for only one processor license in addition to the cultivator license, and may not hold a direct or indirect interest in a retail dispensary within the state. Additionally, cultivators can hold a distribution license. However, it can only be used to distribute their products. Ownership is limited to one cultivation for this New York cannabis license type.

Adult-use Processor License

Processing or manufacturing licenses within this program allow for the extraction of cannabis and/or compounding, blending, infusing, or other forms of manufacturing cannabis concentrates or cannabis products. Processors may also hold a cultivation license and/or distribution license, specifically for the distribution of their products. Processors may not own or hold any level of interest in a New York cannabis retailer license. 

Adult-use Nursery License

The New York cannabis nursery license is a niche cultivation-based license type that allows producing only clones, immature plants, seeds, and other agricultural products used during the planting, propagation, and cultivation of cannabis by license holders authorized to cultivate mature cannabis plants. An Adult-use cultivator may hold up to one nursery license. Also, 50 percent of the allocation for this license type is intended to go to applicants who fit the social and economic equity requirements.

Adult-use Distributor License

An Adult-use Distributor License allows for the wholesale of any cannabis product for which a license is required.  This includes cultivated products as well as manufactured products. This license type allows the license holder to acquire, transport, distribute, and sell cannabis from the licensed premises to adult-use retail, on-site consumption, and adult-use delivery licensees. Distribution license holders may not simultaneously hold or have interest in an Adult-use cannabis retail license. 

Adult-use Micro Business

The New York cannabis Micro-Business license allows for limited size cultivation, processing, distribution, and the retail dispensing of cannabis and cannabis-derived products. This is the only new license type under the Adult-use program that is allowed to have a fully vertical business and was not previously licensed under the medical program. The specific limitations on the canopy as well as plant count have not been finalized at this time. Cannabis micro-business license holders cannot hold ownership or interest in another New York cannabis license type. This license type will have a specific percentage of allocation for social and economic equity applicants, which has not been finalized.

Adult-use Retail Dispensary

The Adult-use retail dispensary license allows for the sale of cannabis and cannabis-derived products directly to consumers over the age of 21 at the licensed facility premises, or by delivery. Individuals cannot have a financial interest or ownership in more than 3 adult-use retail dispensary locations, and may not hold ownership or financial interest in any other license type. Before receiving final approval of this New York Cannabis license type, applicants must demonstrate possession or complete control of the premises for at least 2 years. Also, adult-use retail dispensary locations must be at least 500 ft away from schools, and 200 ft from churches. 

Adult-use Delivery 

This license type allows for the delivery of cannabis and cannabis-derived products to be delivered directly to cannabis consumers. Delivery licenses may not have more than 25 full-time employees or the equivalent. Delivery license holders cannot have an ownership or financial interest in more than 1 delivery license or any other adult-use cannabis license type within New York State.

Adult-use Cooperative

A unique New York cannabis license type, the cooperative license allows for the cultivation, processing, and sale of cannabis and cannabis-derived products to licensed distributors, on-site consumption sites, registered organizations, or retail dispensaries. This license type must be composed of New York state residents in addition to being structured as a cooperative model being controlled democratically by the members based on 1 vote per member. Members of the cooperative license cannot hold any ownership or financial interest in a retail dispensary.

Adult-use On-site Consumption

The Adult-use on-site consumption license allows for the consumption of cannabis and cannabis-derived products on the premises of the licensed facility. This New York cannabis license type also allows for the sale of cannabis and cannabis-derived products to consumers over the age of 21 for use at the on-site consumption facility location. License holders of this license type cannot hold ownership or financial interest in an adult-use retail dispensary, cultivation, processor, microbusiness, cooperative, or distributor license, or be a registered organization.

2 New License types!

Adult-use Conditional Cultivator License

This New York cannabis license type, which was announced in February of 2022, is specifically designed to authorize eligible New York hemp growers to apply for a license to grow cannabis that contains over 0.3% THC. Eligible applicants must have been authorized and licensed to grow hemp under the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. 

Adult-use Conditional Processor License

Like the Conditional Cultivator License, the Adult-use Conditional Processor License is designed to authorize eligible hemp processors to apply for a license to process and manufacture cannabis products with a THC level over 0.3% for the Adult-use cannabis market. Eligible applicants must have been authorized and licensed to process hemp-based products under the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. 

To learn more about specific New York cannabis license types of functions, general starting costs, or application development assistance, please fill out our contact form or book a free consultation using the link on this page.