New York’s Adult-Use Program Prepares To Open

Despite setbacks, New York has been working hard to get their adult-use cannabis sales up and running. This market is slated to be highly-competitive, with a robust social equity program. Read more below to find out what you need to know to enter the lucrative New York cannabis space. 



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. Progress to get adult-use sales up and running has been stalled several times due to bureaucratic delays mostly related to Governor Cuomo’s resignation and subsequent replacement.


New License Category

In a surprising turn of events, a new license category was created to help jumpstart the program. 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 is March 15, 2022 – June 30, 2022.


What’s next?

Cannabis retail stores are set to begin business by the end of the year. New York hasn’t yet set a limit on the number of licenses it will issue, so there’s plenty of room to enter the cannabis space! New York Residents with marijuana convictions, or their relatives will be awarded the first 100 retail licenses. Currently, New York is setting aside cash to support these “social equity” applicants to aid in securing storefronts. Cannabis retail license applicants will be evaluated on their business plans and retail experience. We anticipate the rules in New York to be published soon and the licensing window to open not long after that!


Because New York is a sought-after state with many hopefuls, we recommend beginning to make your plans now! Contact Canna Business Services for assistance getting your cannabis business off the ground in New York.