Are you looking for a cannabis license in New York? The New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), has been slowly but surely building its comprehensive adult-use cannabis program and is expected to launch its program in late August or early September 2023. 

are you ready to be the first to apply for the adult-use cannabis round?

First, you need to know what adult-use license type you will be applying for. Let’s break down the various adult-use cannabis licenses that will be available through the OCM’s licensing scheme (or scroll to learn more about the license you want).

9. Adult-use nursery license

Think of this license as allowing you to produce the beginning pieces of what will go to a cultivator. What does this mean? It means, you will be permitted to produce only clones, immature plants, seeds, and other agricultural products used specifically for planing, propagation, and cultivation of cannabis by licensed cultivators, microbusinesses, cooperatives, and registered organizations.

Licensing Restrictions: A nursery license holder may hold a cultivator license. A cultivator license holder may only hold one nursery license.

8. Adult-use processor license

A New York Processor license is what you think of when you hear someone use the terms “New York manufacturing license” or “New York extraction license”. Different states use different terms, but in New York, a Processor license will permit you to extract concentrated cannabis and/or compound, blend, extract, infuse, or manufacture concentrated cannabis. 

With this license, you may obtain, possess, process, and sell cannabis from a cultivation premises to a distributor.

Licensing Restrictions: A processor can have a distributor license, so long as they use the distributor license only to distribute their own products.

You may have more than one processor license.

You may not own or have any interest in a retail dispensary license.

7. Adult-use distributor license

The distributor license permits you to wholesale any cannabis product. You may acquire, possess, distribute, and sell cannabis from the premises of a processorcooperative, microbusinessor registered organization to a retail dispensary or on-site consumption sites.

Think of a distributor license as a sort of middle man between production and sellers. This license allows you to acquire the cannabis or cannabis product from the producer (grower, processor, etc.) and sell it to a retailer or consumption lounge.

License Restrictions: You may only have one distributor license. You may not have any interest in an adult-use retail dispensary.

6. Adult-use cooperative license

With a Cooperative License or “Co-op” license, you may build an organization under co-operative principles, which means you must be democratically controlled by the members of the co-op, where each member has one vote. 

Once established as an adult-use co-op and licensed, you will be permitted to acquire, possess, cultivate, process, and sell from your premises to distributors, on-site consumption lounges, or directly to retail dispensaries.

License Restrictions: You may only have one co-op license. You may not have any interest in an adult-use retail dispensary in New York.

5. Adult-use microbusiness license

If you have been tracking New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis program, you may be familiar with a microbusiness. With a microbusiness license, you will be permitted to act as a cannabis producer for the cultivation of cannabis, a processor, distributor, and retailer. In normal people terms, that means you can pretty much do it all, but on a smaller scale than a standard sized business. You will have the ability for limited cultivation, processing, distribution, delivery, and sale of your own adult-use cannabis and cannabis products.

License Restrictions: You may only have one microbusiness license. If you have this license, you may not have an interest in any other adult-use license types.

4. Adult-use on-site consumption license

On-site consumption lounges are the unicorn of cannabis licenses. Why? Because few states permit them and those that do have delayed rollouts of the programs or heavily restrict who gets them. New York, however, is aiming to lead the country in its rollout of consumption lounges.

So what does it permit? New York On-Site Consumption Licenses permit the consumption of cannabis in an area that is licensed by the Cannabis Control Board. With this license, you may acquire, possess, and sell cannabis from your on-site consumption premises directly to consumers who will use that cannabis while at your location.

Think of it like a cigar bar or hookah lounge. Cannabis on-site consumption licenses will require stringent oversight and owners will certainly be spotlighted around the safety measures in place for their consumers, but these licenses are sure to become a popular destination of New Yorkers and tourists alike.

License Restrictions: You may have up to three on-site consumption lounge licenses! However, you may not have any interest in a cultivation, processing, or distribution license (i.e. you cannot grow or manufacturer what you’re selling to customers. This is likely the OCM’s way of ensuring that there are no conflicts or biases when it comes to selecting product that is best for the consumer).

3. Adult-use delivery license

Delivery licenses permit the license holder to deliver cannabis and cannabis products to cannabis consumers. What’s even better, this license authorizes the licensee to do this independent of another adult-use cannabis license. You can have up to 25 individuals (or the equivalent) providing full-time paid delivery services to consumers per week under one license. 

License Restrictions: You may only have one delivery license. You may not have any interest in another adult-use license.

2. Adult-use cultivator license

Cultivation licenses include everything dealing with the cannabis plant itself, before it becomes a manufactured or processed end-product. Cultivators are permitted to grow, clone, harvest, dry, cure, grade, and trim cannabis plants and get them ready to package and sell. This license allows the cultivator to acquire, possess, distribute, cultivate, and sell cannabis from its location to a processor

Licensing Restrictions: You may only have one cultivator license. A cultivator license holder may hold one nursery license. Uniquely, as a cultivation licensee, you are permitted to also hold one processor license (so you can produce cannabis products) and one distributor license (where you can take your product to an adult-use retail dispensary or on-site consumption premises). You may not have an interest in an adult-use retail dispensary in New York.

1. Adult-use retail dispensary license

Ah, the most well-known and easily understood license type: the dispensary. Different states call this license by varying terms, depending on whether it’s a medical or adult-use (recreational) licensing round. Typically the term “dispensary” is reserved for medical dispensaries, where patients with a state medical cannabis patient card can enter and purchase their medicinal cannabis. More recently, states hosting a recreational (adult-use) cannabis program will generally switch the term to “retailer”. New York, however, keeps it exciting by merging the terms: “Retail Dispensary”.

With an Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License, a licensee may sell at retail any cannabis product to consumers. The licensee is permitted to acquire, possess, sell, and deliver cannabis from its dispensary location to the adult consumer.

License Restrictions: You may have up to three retail dispensary licenses. However, you may not own or have an interest in cultivation, processing, or distribution license.

Canna business services is on the forefront of new york’s cannabis industry.

Canna Business Services has successfully helped clients enter into legal cannabis programs all over the country. New York is another hot market that we are already serving in. Let us help you select the right license and pursue your cannabis goals! 

Check out our other blogs to learn more about the cannabis industry, and importantly, to learn how to vet cannabis consultants and attorneys (we have whole blog posts written about how to cut through the noise and confusion in selecting the right firm! There are a lot of scam artists out there.)

Or you can ask us questions directly by contacting us for a FREE 15 minute consultation

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