Here's what's really going on with New York's adult-use program

New York’s program is finally gaining momentum after being stalled last year due to litigation surrounding Governor Cuomo. With their focus on social equity applicants, it has been unclear to some where the general population adult-use program is going and what to expect. Here’s our run down of the current situation and predictions for what’s next. 


Where are we at now?

Municipalities in New York are currently in the process of deciding whether or not they are opting out of adult-use cannabis retail facilities. Some have decided already, and some are still making that decision. One thing you can do if your local government has not decided is get involved in public meetings and reach out to your local leaders to help advocate for adult-use cannabis in your municipality.


Justice Involved Program Update

The Justice Involved Program is New York’s social equity initiative. The program is intended to give first-crack at the market to applicants who qualify, and opened for submissions on August 25th, and is open for only 30 days with a closing date of September 26th. Qualifications include: have a cannabis conviction in New York, owned 10% of a business for at least 2 years, and the business generated revenue for at least 2 years. There are 150 licenses set to be awarded across 14 regions of the state. The Office of Cannabis Management set up regions in an effort to balance the distribution of licenses, acknowledging that the most concentrated areas will be boroughs like Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island.


What can I do now to get started?

Now that the social justice application window has opened, we anticipate the regular round to open in a matter of weeks. If you’re thinking about entering the industry, now is the time in New York. People who don’t qualify for the Justice Involved social equity program are already starting to take the beginning steps needed now. Build your team, find your real estate, and hire a trusted consultant. In particular, it’s expected to be challenging to find real estate that is correctly zoned, in a location that has approved cannabis.


Contact Canna Business Services for a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about the New York adult-use cannabis industry.