Now that recreational cannabis is legal in New York, what does that mean for those who want to use it? Here’s a look at what legal cannabis in New York looks like.
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Today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.854-A / A.1248-A) making adult-use cannabis legal in New York State. The legislation also creates automatic expungement of past cannabis offenses and invests in communities most impacted by the drug’s illegal sale and use. This is a momentous step forward in correcting the injustices of the past and ensuring a fair and equitable adult-use cannabis program for all New Yorkers.
The new law makes it legal for adults 21 and over to possess and use cannabis, with certain restrictions, and creates a system to tax and regulate its growth, manufacture, distribution, sale, testing, and enforcement. The legislation also establishes the office of Cannabis Management within the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control to oversee the adult-use cannabis industry.
The Process of Getting a License
The process of getting a license to grow, process, or sell cannabis in New York is long and complicated. First, applicants must submit an initial application to the state Department of Health. This application must include fingerprints and a non-refundable $2,000 fee.
Then, the Department of Health will conduct a background check on the applicant. If the applicant has a clean criminal record and meets all other requirements, they will be invited to submit a more detailed application.
This second application must include a business plan, proof of financial stability, and detailed information about the proposed cannabis business. It must also include a $10,000 non-refundable fee.
Once the second application is received, the Department of Health will review it and make a decision within 60 days. If the applicant is approved, they will be issued a license to grow, process, or sell cannabis in New York State.
The Different Types of Licenses
US state governments issue a variety of licenses to allow people to engage in different aspects of the cannabis industry. Different types of licenses are typically needed for activities such as growing, processing, selling, and testing cannabis products.
In New York, there are currently 10 types of cannabis licenses that have been made available:
*A cultivator license allows a business to grow and cultivate cannabis plants.
*A processor license allows a business to process and package cannabis products.
*A dispensary license allows a business to sell cannabis products to customers.
*A delivery license allows a business to deliver cannabis products to customers.
*A testing lab license allows a business to test cannabis products for potency and contaminants.
*A manufacturer license allows a business to manufacture cannabis products.
*A distributor license allows a business to transport cannabis products between licensed businesses.
*An events license allows businesses to host on-site consumption events.
The Application Process
If you’re interested in getting a license to sell cannabis in New York, you’ll need to go through a competitive application process. The state will be issuing licenses for dispensaries, manufacturers, and distributors.
To apply, you’ll need to submit an application that includes:
-A non-refundable application fee
-A business plan
-Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency
-A background check
-An explanation of your proposed business model
The state will also be issuing licenses for on-site consumption, delivery, and home grow. These licenses will be separate from the licenses for dispensaries, manufacturers, and distributors.
The Cost of a License
In order to be one of the select few who are able to open a legal cannabis business in New York, you’ll need to apply for a license from the state. The cost of the license will vary depending on the type of business you want to open, but it’s safe to say that it won’t be cheap. For example, a dispensary license could cost upward of $30,000, while a cultivation license could cost closer to $200,000. And that’s just for the initial application fee!
Once you’re up and running, you’ll also need to pay annual fees and taxes on your gross sales. All told, it’s not going to be a cheap endeavor. But for those who are passionate about cannabis and have the financial resources to back it up, opening a legal cannabis business in New York could be a very lucrative opportunity.
The Timeline for Getting a License
The first step for anyone interested in getting a license to cultivate, process, distribute or dispense cannabis in New York is to submit an application to the state Department of Health.
The DOH will then review the application and determine whether the applicant is eligible for a license. If the applicant is found to be eligible, the DOH will issue a notice of registration and provide the applicant with information about how to complete the registration process.
Once the registration process is complete, the applicant will be given a license by the DOH. The license will be valid for one year and can be renewed annually.
The Requirements for a License
The requirements for a license are as follows: an applicant must be at least 21 years of age, have been a resident of New York for at least two years prior to applying, and have no felony convictions. The applicant must also prove that they have the financial resources to back a cannabis business.
In order to obtain a license, applicants must first submit an application to the New York State Department of Health. The application fee is $10,000, and the initial license fee is $50,000. There is also an annual renewal fee of $25,000.
Once the application is submitted, the Department of Health will conduct a background check on the applicant. If the applicant passes the background check, they will be fingerprinted and their fingerprints will be sent to the FBI for a criminal background check.
Once the applicant has passed the criminal background check, they will be required to submit documentation proving that they have the financial resources to back a cannabis business. This includes banking records, tax returns, and proof of assets.
Once all of these requirements have been met, the Department of Health will issue a license to the applicant.
The Consequences of Not Having a License
There are a number of consequences for not having a license to sell cannabis in New York. Firstly, unlicensed sellers will not be able to obtain a license in the future. Secondly, unlicensed sellers will be subject to strict penalties, including fines of up to $10,000 and up to two years in prison. Finally, unlicensed selling of cannabis is likely to lead to the closure of cannabis dispensaries and the loss of jobs for those who work in the industry.