The Application Process for New York Cannabis Dispensary Licenses

The Application Process for New York Cannabis Dispensary Licenses

On March 9, New York regulators announced that the first 100-200 adult-use cannabis retail licenses will be awarded to people with previous cannabis convictions and their families. Convictions must have occurred before March 31, 2021, the date when former governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). The New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) has issued proposed regulations on Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries. These regulations will soon be available for public comment on These conditional cannabis dispensary licenses would be in effect for four years. The goal of these regulations is to implement the spirit of MRTA and to create an equitable cannabis market in which those negatively impacted by the War on Drugs would have opportunities in the newly legal cannabis markets. By providing the first dispensary licenses to individuals convicted of cannabis crimes, as well as their families, New York is truly addressing injustices of the past and fulfilling its promise regarding social equity. In addition, by beginning a process to license conditional cannabis dispensaries, New York is shortening the timeline to legal cannabis sales, considering that the state already passed legislation for conditional cultivator and processor licenses. This informational post includes regulations relating to who can apply and what the application will require. The application requirements are robust and successful applicants will need to carefully prepare for a competitive process. Applicants should carefully consider how they will prepare written agreements required through the application process as well as whether they want to apply as a business or individually. True Party of Interest and Financier The CCB appears to have borrowed some terminology from Washington State. For example, in Washington, a “True Party of Interest” means any person with an ownership stake in a licensed business, who shares in the profits of the business,…

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