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Cannabis LawNEW YORK CANNABIS DISPENSARY LICENSES ARE NOW AVAILABLE

The Office of Cannabis Management has opened the application process for New Yorkers interested in opening a cannabis dispensary. Initially, 150 licenses will be issued throughout New York State, 17 of which are available for locations in the Mid-Hudson region. The license authorizes the license holder to acquire, possess, sell, and deliver cannabis from the retail dispensary to consumers who are age 21 and older. The application process opened on August 25, 2022.

To be eligible for a license, an applicant must meet all the following requirements:

  • All applicants must be 21 years of age, including all members of the Board of Directors of an entity.
  • All persons involved must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • A significant presence in New York State.
  • A majority interest of the business must be owned and controlled by a “justice involved” person. “Justice involved” means someone who has been convicted of a marihuana-related offense in New York State, or is the spouse, child, legal guardian, or dependent of someone who has been convicted of a marihuana-related offense in New York State, before 3/31/2021.
  • The justice involved person must also demonstrate that he or she was involved in a “qualifying business.” A “qualifying business” is one that the justice involved person owned at least ten (10%) percent of and controlled, and was profitable for at least two years.

Nonprofit organizations are also eligible for the dispensary license. To qualify, the nonprofit must meet all the following requirements:

  • Recognition by the IRS as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3).
  • All applicants must be 21 years of age, including all members of the Board of Directors.
  • At least one justice involved board member, officer, governing committee member, or advising committee member.
  • All persons who will operate the dispensary must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • A significant presence in New York State.
  • A history of intentionally serving current or formerly incarcerated individuals, including justice involved individuals
  • A history of creating vocational opportunities for current or formerly incarcerated individuals, including justice involved individuals.
  • Has at least five full-time employees.
  • Operated a profitable social enterprise for at least two years.

There are further details concerning these requirements in the application materials and regulations. And there is a non-refundable filing fee of $2,000. Applications are online only by clicking here.

This is not intended to be legal advise.  You should contact your attorney to discuss your specific situation.

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Gary M. Schuster is Partner at the firm and practices business, non-profit,  arts and entertainment law and marijuana licensing.
He can be reached at 845-764-9656 and by email.

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