How To Open A Dispensary In New York

The Cannabis Security Experts

How To Open A Dispensary In New York

July 24, 2020 Licensing 0


Are you wondering how to open a dispensary in New York? This page is dedicated to keeping you up to date on the latest news and information relevant to opening a cannabis business in New York. This includes helpful insights on what is to come next. 

New York is considered one of the most likely states to legalize marijuana next. We anticipate this as very likely to be when the state legislature resumes in 2021. In January of this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to legalize marijuana in New York. 

According to the state governor’s office, the approach involves a comprehensive regulatory approach involving:

  • Creating an office of “Cannabis Management” specialized in regulation for medical, adult, and hemp programs
  • Social equity licensing opportunities
  • Egalitarian adult-use market structure and help facilitate access to capital
  • Technical assistance and incubation for equity entrepreneurs
  • Intent to correct past harms of communities disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition

During this year and early into next, we believe that more details will come to learn how to open a dispensary in New York, the requirements, application process, and costs associated. We will be adding these details to this page as new information is announced. Here’s what you need to know now to be ready. 

When will New York Legalize? 

Poised to be legalized in 2020, New York was unexpectedly hit with the COVID 19 epidemic, which has prioritized the state’s attention. While this has slowed down cannabis legalization, we feel two particular factors make it even more likely to happen in 2021. Firstly COVID 19 has been projected as a 243 billion dollar loss to New York’s economy, according to the state budget’s office. Losses of this size will put a major strain on the state budget, finding its revenue. Secondly, criminal justice reform is more popular than ever, and there has never been more pressure to decriminalize cannabis. 

How big is the opportunity? 

Most experts agree New York may be one of the hottest cannabis markets in the United States. According to the New York Comptroller, legalization may make the 3.1 Billion. Brightfield Group, a Chicago-based research firm, puts it at 2.2 Billion by 2023, if legalization were to occur by 2021, making New York the second-largest cannabis market! The common sense is that the size of the state’s population, along with wealth, and open culture, makes it clear that the opportunity is huge.

Local Cannabis Restrictions & Laws

While New York is on the path to full legalization, there are certain counties where there is a possibility that marijuana sales will not be allowed. These include the counties of Columbia, Chemung, Nassau, Putnam, and Suffolk. Furthermore, there is a possibility of Cattaraugus and Oneida as well. While there aren’t any definitive laws put in place just yet, we will keep this page updated as more information is available. 

Medical Marijuana Program Opportunities

The first move to legalize medical marijuana was In 2014, with the compassionate care act. At this time, only five licenses were granted and no new licenses have been granted since the deadline of June 5th, 2015. At that time there was 43 applicants applying to manufacture and dispense medical cannabis. The law initially provided 5 organizations to register with each organization allowed to operate 4 dispensaries state-wide.

Since this time, there have been no new medical marijuana licenses granted or plans to focus on medical-only. The focus has been exclusively on full legalization. Based on 2020 state government proposals, medical cannabis will be managed and regulated by the proposed cannabis management office. 

Application Fees & Registration Costs

While this is no indication of the costs associated with the recreational use, here are the costs associated with application from 2015

Applicants must submit a:

1. Non-Refundable Application Fee of $10,000
2. A $200,000 registration fee. This will be refunded only if applicant is not issued a registration.

Recreational Use Legalization

New York Legislature has adjourned as of June 2020, and as stated above, we project New York to be one of the next states to legalize. This is very likely to start to happen when the legislature resumes in 2021. However, many new events are unfolding that will affect how quickly this happens and what the requirements will look like to start a marijuana dispensary. By adding yourself to our New York Cannabis Mailing List (Below), we will keep you updated on all relevant news that matters and not so easy to find news and comments based on New York Legalization below. This includes but is not limited to:

  • How much it will it cost to open a dispensary in New York?
  • What are the requirements to get a marijuana business license and open a dispensary in New York?
  • What special programs will be available?
  • And more

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