New York Legalization

Cannabis License and Applications


New York Legalization

  • Medical: Legalized 2014
  • Adult-Use/Recreational: Legalized March 31, 2021, sales to begin in 2022


  • Status: 
    • Recreational: Not Open
    • Cannabinoid Hemp Program: Applications Open for Processor, Retailer and Distributor Permits.
    • Vertical Integration: Microbusinesses Only
    • Consumption Lounges Permitted: Yes
    • Home Cultivation Permitted for Medical and Personal Use 

State cannabis overview

New York Cannabis Licenses


  1. Adult-use Cultivator, this New York marijuana cultivation license is for facilities involved in growing, cultivating and selling cannabis plants to a licensed processor
  2. Adult-use Nursery, for facilities involved in growing only clones, unfertilized and fertilized cannabis seeds for cultivation by a licensed cultivator, microbusiness, cooperative and registered organization.
  3. Adult-use Processor, for facilities involved in manufacturing, preparation, and packaging of cannabis items. Authorizes the sale of cannabis items for later resale by other licensees.
  4. Adult-use Distributor, for businesses involved in transporting cannabis items in bulk intrastate, from one licensed cannabis establishment to another.
  5. Adult-use Cooperative, for member-owned businesses following a cooperative business model that are involved in growing, cultivating and selling cannabis plants to other licensees. All members must live within the state of New York.
  6. Adult-use Microbusiness, for businesses growing, manufacturing, distributing and selling a limited amount of self-grown cannabis items.
  7. Adult-use Retail Dispensary, for any New York state dispensary selling and delivering cannabis products directly to customers.
  8. Adult-use On-Site Consumption, for any New York dispensary allowing customers to purchase and consume cannabis products on its premises.
  9. Adult-use Delivery, for business providing courier services for other licensees in order to make deliveries of cannabis items to a consumer. Businesses are allowed a maximum of 25 full-time, paid delivery staff per week under a single license.
  10. Registered Organization Adult-use Cultivator Processor Distributor Retail Dispensary, for organizations selling recreational cannabis through their own medical dispensaries, and only authorizes the distribution of the registered organization’s own cannabis products.
  11. Registered Organization Adult-use Cultivator Processor Distributor, for registered medical cannabis organizations seeking to have the same privileges as an adult-use cultivator, processor, and distributor licensees.

Pick the Right New York Dispensary License


Delivery services from a licensed distributor and other licensees to customers. Must have a limited number of employees. Delivery licenses can not be used with any other license type.



Microbusiness licenses restrict size and volume, however the only license that allows businesses to grow and sell their own products. Microbusiness licenses can not be used with any other license type.


Regular adult-use cannabis license to grow, cultivate, manufacture, distribute and sell cannabis products. Half of all adult-use licenses are designated for social and economic equity applicants, including residents of areas impacted by the War on Drugs, minority and women owned businesses, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.



State-approved medical cannabis organizations seeking to grow, cultivate, manufacture, distribute and/or sell recreational use cannabis products. Registered organization licenses can not be used with any other license type.


New York Cannabis Licensing Process

Determine Local Laws and Compliance

Not every city or county in New York is permitting the sale of cannabis. Familiarize yourself with local regulations, get involved as a positive influence in the community to mitigate cannabis bans, and begin putting together your business plan and financing.

Create Your Licensing Strategy

Determine the license type best suited for your situation and write your NY dispensary application. A license may be up to 2 years. It will need to include detailed summaries of your operations, safety and security procedures, proposed location, environmental and energy impact, community impact, workforce development, and more.


Launch Your Cannabis Store

Following an approved cannabis application, start building out your store, develop relationships with suppliers and producers, create standard operating procedures, hire and train staff, establish your online presence, and build your long-term marketing and engagement strategies.


Download our New York Dispensary Recreational Cannabis Guide

Looking for more information on how to open a dispensary in New York? Fill in the form below to get a copy of our Cannabis Overview and New York Cannabis Real Estate Guide. 


    Mary Jane Marketer Services in New York



    We can help entrepreneurs in the early stages get started on the right foot on their journey into the New York cannabis industry. Our services include:


    Market Research Studies

    Store Conceptualization

    Business Plan Development


    Turning your business idea into reality takes a lot of work. We can help make it happen through:

    Recreational and Medical Cannabis License Application Writing Services

    Brand Development and Cannabis Marketing Strategy



    Your business is up and running. It’s time to get found, get noticed, and grow your sales. Mary Jane Marketer will grow your business presence and customer engagement with:

    Website Development and Design Services

    Paid and Social Media Campaigns

    Local SEO Optimization

    Building Customer Loyalty Programs

    Budtender Sales Training


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