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License Types
Currently Available

New York has legalized both the cannabis medical and adult-use industries. New York has determined the rules for their cannabis industry and are in the process of reviewing and approving applicants from their initial, adult-use licensing round. The application period for cultivator, processor, distributor, and retailers are currently closed.  CAURD application reviews have also moved forward after being stalled by lawsuits. Type 3 processor applications are currently open.

There is a Phase II to the licensing process in New York, once the initial application is approved, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) will request additional documentation and submissions from the applicant. This will all need to be completed prior to licensure – this is where Canna Business Services can help!

New York Cannabis Licenses

  • Cultivator
  • Processor
  • Distributor
  • Microbusiness
  • Dispensary
  • On-Site Consumption
  • Delivery
What You Need To Apply

In order to apply for a license in New York, here are the top items you want to complete to be successful starting your journey into the cannabis space:

  1. Decide what type of business (or businesses) you want to pursue cannabis business licenses for.

    Review the list of license types available for application to determine what might be the best fit for you and your business aspirations.

  2. Assemble Your Team

    The next step is to gather your team of experts. Having financial backing in the form of investors is crucial so that you are able to procure consultation services, a location, and other resources along the way. Don’t make the mistake of getting knee-deep in your plan and then running out of money to see it through. After you’ve made sure your funding is set, assemble your team of people you can trust. Specifically, you want people who have experience in the industry and who are well-informed so that you can highlight your team’s expertise in your application.

  3. Secure a Property

    Prior to obtaining a license you will need to secure property that is zoned correctly and able to support the needs of a cannabis business. This can, at times, be the most challenging part of the process. Our team has worked with countless municipalities to assist our clients in obtaining compliant properties in correctly zoned areas.

  4. Draft Your Application

    Application requirements vary between Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and narrative forms surrounding the expectations you have for your business. Either way, these need to be compliant with all state, local, and federal regulations. Ensuring that you are compliant is one of the most important steps in the application process. Canna Business Services has years of experience drafting award-winning applications for our clients in competitive states. Set up a meeting with us today to discuss how we can help you with your business.

  5. Read more on our blog about how to take the first steps towards licensure.

History of Cannabis in New York

In 2014, Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law that legalized cannabis for medical use in New York state. After several years of various laws proposed between the legislature and the governor’s office, in 2021, New York legalized cannabis for adult-use under Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). The Office of Cannabis Management oversees the development of rules and the licensing process in New York.

After recreational marijuana was officially legalized by the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act on March 31, 2021, the state has slowly been pulling together its regulations and applications for adult-use cannabis license holders.

On February 22, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law S.8084-A/A.9283-A, creating a new Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator license, authorizing eligible hemp growers to apply for a license to grow cannabis. Applicants must be currently authorized to grow hemp. The application window for the Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator License approved by the Cannabis Control Board was March 15, 2022 – June 30, 2022. 

By late 2022, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) put forth draft regulations governing its adult-use program. While OCM simultaneously opened Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) applications to get the state underway in sales, these draft regulations will become the standard for all future cannabis licenses in New York.

In the meantime, TWO New York CAURD licensed locations opened for business! The very first became Housing Works Cannabis Co. located in Manhattan, which opened in the last days of 2022. The second, Smacked Village, the very first NY cannabis Dispensary owned by a justice-involved individual, opened in NYC in early 2023. Seems confusing, right? It should, because the State of New York opened this CAURD program before it finalized its regulations. This not only makes for a confusing timeline of events in the industry, but it also leaves CAURD store owners in the dark about how to remain compliant.

At this time, according to an early 2023 presentation held by the OCM, while the adult-use regulations have the potential to be finalized at the end of this first round of public comments on February 13th, OCM actually finalized them in September 2023. That’s because, directly following the first round of comments, the OCM will take at least 60 days to review and update the regulations accordingly. 

OCM conducted their first licensing round at the beginning of October 2023 and closed in December 2023. Applications were prioritized for retailers who secured property, issued a Notice to the Municipality, and submitted their completed application prior to November 17, 2023. Processors, cultivators, and distributors had to submit an application with site control. These applications were each given a random number in the queue that was issued via a lottery. Applications are being reviewed in queue order, and applicants have 30 days to reply to deficiency notices issued by OCM.

If you are looking to win a cannabis license in New York. On the contrary, your competition has been preparing in advance of the round opening! We strongly urge you to begin taking steps to begin your application process NOW. There are many items you can complete as you await the final regulations. We help our clients do it all the time through our pre-application support. This support gives applicants a leg up on the competition. Would you rather be two laps into a mile race or at the start line when the starting gun goes off? Our pre-application clients check off many items they need in advance of the round opening, putting them in a much stronger position to win. To learn more about these pre-application services, contact us today for a FREE 15 minute consultation!

Read more about the cannabis market opening in New York on our blog. We’re constantly adding blogs with new cannabis licensing information and New York updates!

We anticipate New York opening a new application round soon. They released the dates of the initial round with very little notice, so it’s in your best interests to start today!

How to Get Priority Grading in New York


Fully committed to the cannabis industry, Canna Business Services offers a unique and comprehensive vantage point. We are a woman-owned and largely women-operated company with 8 years of experience in the recreational and medical cannabis marketplace. Our team of consultants combines an impressive and varied background from education and engineering to law and keeps current with every trend and development in New York regulations.

Learn what new york’s legalization means for the market and your business

New York Cannabis Business Consulting

The cannabis industry is especially involved. Very few fields are subjected to such microscopic scrutiny. Failure to comply can destroy your reputation and chance of success. Canna Business Services is your trusted resource and advocate. We work closely with you to understand your vision, develop customized strategies, and achieve your objectives. Our solutions are built around compliance and future-proof sustainability. We are well-versed in State and Local regulations.