Anyone can apply for it
New York will begin issuing licenses for cannabis sales. On Wednesday, October 4, New York’s Office of Cannabis Management, which regulates cannabis, began accepting applications from all businesses wanting to set up a dispensary or retail store, opening the market to a wide range of potential applicants, Lohud reports.
Previously, licenses were only issued to residents or family members of residents with marijuana convictions under the Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary, or CAURD, program. However, the program has been repeatedly stalled by lawsuits challenging the state’s preferential licensing scheme.
Who Can Apply for a New York Cannabis License
Under the new application process, all potential applicants who are 21 years of age or older and who are not otherwise prohibited from holding a cannabis retail license are eligible to apply for a retail or dispensary license.
They can apply for a number of other licenses, such as cultivator, processor, or distributor licenses (some of these have ownership restrictions or conflicts of interest. Check the website for more information).
A spokesman for the New York City Cannabis Authority declined to provide data on implementation progress. An FAQ posted on the agency’s website says it can issue about 1,500 licenses to applicants for all types of cannabis, with the vast majority of them for retail use.
How to apply
Applications can be submitted through the New York Business Express online portal.
How much does it cost to apply for a cannabis retail license in New York
Applicants are charged a non-refundable fee of $1,000, except those who qualify for a 50% discount because they are from a disadvantaged population.
What problems have arisen with the introduction of cannabis in New York State?
The implementation of the licensing system in the state was especially difficult when priority was given to low-income candidates. Today, there are only 23 dispensaries open in New York City, and tax revenues are lagging behind initial projections.
While cannabis tax revenue was projected to be in the hundreds of millions in the first few years of legalization, retailers sold just $33 million worth of product in the first half of 2023. That would amount to just a few million dollars in tax revenue.
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced that officials have seized nearly $42 million worth of black market product since the state crackdown on unlicensed cannabis began. That thriving black market is partly to blame for declining retail sales.
“We know New York has work to do to launch an entirely new cannabis industry and disrupt illegal operators, and I am committed to working with all stakeholders to get this job done right,” Hochul said in a statement. “My administration is committed to eliminating illegal shops, protecting the health and safety of children, and helping small businesses thrive.”
The Cannabis Regulatory Authority has developed an equity plan that would award 50% of new licenses to people affected by the War on Drugs, veterans, women, disadvantaged farmers and others.
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