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New York Cannabis Licenses & Permits

New York Cannabis Licenses & Permits

Are you interested in starting a marijuana dispensary or growing facility in the state of New York? While marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, and selling are still illegal at the US federal level, certain states have implemented their own laws regarding the issue. Currently, in New York, there is a limited but rapidly changing set of complex laws for operating a business in the cannabis industry. 


Here’s everything you need to know about growing the plant and obtaining New York dispensary applications.


Current Types of Business Permits for Cannabis in NY 

  • Growing and Dispensing -- When Governor Cuomo signed the 2014 bill legalizing medical marijuana for use by patients with a few qualifying conditions, the state awarded only five permits for New York dispensary applications. Each of the five registered organizations could operate four standalone dispensaries throughout the state. Today, there are 20 total medical marijuana dispensaries statewide, and no additional permits have yet been awarded. Right now there is no process to apply and obtain medical marijuana dispensaries permit, but there are steps you can take to prepare for when the laws inevitably change in the near future. 

  • Recommending and Prescribing -- Would you like to obtain a license to recommend marijuana to patients as a doctor? Under state law, to issue certifications for patients to receive medical marijuana practitioners must:

    • Be qualified to treat patients with one or more of the serious conditions set forth in 10 NYCRR §1004.2. In order to treat patients with substance use disorder or opioid use disorder, the practitioner must hold a federal Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) waiver.

    • Be licensed, in good standing as a physician and practicing medicine, as defined in Article 131 of the NYS Education Law, or be certified, in good standing as a nurse practitioner and practicing medicine, as defined in Article 139 of the NYS Education Law, or be licensed, in good standing as a physician assistant and practicing medicine in New York State, as defined in Article 131-B of the NYS Education Law, under the supervision of a physician registered with the New York State Medical Marijuana Program

    • Have registered with the New York State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program and completed a course approved by the Commissioner


Securing Your Applications & Permits

  • Dispensaries and Growers -- The New York grower and dispensary application permit process began in 2015. The process was very strict when it began. The fees to apply are much higher than other states. The application fee is $10,000 and the initial registration fee $200,000. The state chose their official registered organizations that could manufacture and dispense medical marijuana under the Compassionate Care Act. Right now there are no opportunities to apply as a grower or dispensary in New York, but that is expected to change in the near future with opportunities for more businesses to join in. Check out the permit process here


Looking to the Future

What you can do to prepare before the application process opens up:

  • Although the legal use of marijuana is very regulated in the state, there are steps you can take to prepare so your business is ahead of the curve while we still await full legalization. Entrepreneurs should start their business plans now, organize a strong board, and set up financial models to place them in the best position for securing licensing. 

  • Whether you are looking to start your own dispensary, grow operation, or both, Our Green Solutions will help you with:

    • Advisory Board - Our knowledge and connections allows us to provide you the best information and resources from the industry’s top experts

    • Location Scouting - We can help you find the perfect place to plan for your future grow and dispensary location 

    • Branding - We utilize our education, passion and experience in marketing to help you brand your product 

    • Business Plan - We will help you develop your cannabis business brand and create a business plan 

    • Strategy - We will help you create a strategy to succeed in the current marketplaces and pivot as new legislations come out

    • Operation Training - We will guide you through the process of setting up your operation, assist with employee training and lay down the foundation for operational fluidity in your business

    • Employee Manuals - We can create clear, succinct, and attractive manuals for your employees to become the best ambassadors for your business or venture 


Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had a plan to legalize recreational marijuana on January 15, 2019. That recreational marijuana bill failed to pass. Then, this year on April 3, 2020, lawmakers decided to remove marijuana legalization in order to address the coronavirus pandemic while finalizing the state budget. Though there have been some hurdles, eventually, New York will move toward legalization. 


With legalization just on the horizon in New York, now is a great time to prepare your business. We will help you position yourself among the most competitive businesses in the cannabis market so you are ready to go when legalization hits and New York dispensary applications become more open.

Need more details? Contact us

We are here to assist. Contact us by phone, email or via our Social Media channels.

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