New York Real Estate & Cannabis Regulations

Cannabis Status: Opening

The New York market will offer amazing opportunities for cannabis operators, with some of the most densely populated urban centers in the country. In addition the New York City area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, with approximately 65 million tourists a year visiting the one city alone. Read on for more information on the upcoming cannabis regulations in New York and find out how you can tap into this lucrative market!

Name: New York
Population: 8,419,000
Median Income: $63,998
Cannabis Uses: Retail, Delivery, Cultivation, Distribution, Nursery, On-Site Consumption, Processor, Testing Lab, Small Business Adult-Use Cooperative, Microbusiness
State Cannabis Overview:New York has officially opened its doors to adult-use cannabis businesses, marking a significant milestone in the state’s journey towards a fully legalized cannabis market. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has commenced the issuance of licenses, signaling a robust effort to foster the growth and development of the cannabis industry within the state. This development follows a series of regulatory advancements and the establishment of a comprehensive framework to oversee the cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis for adult use. The OCM is also dedicated to addressing the backlog of existing applications, with a commitment to processing these on an ongoing basis.

Latest Updates for New York State Cannabis Regulations

Recent Update 2/23/24

In an important development for the cannabis industry in New York, the state’s Cannabis Control Board convened on February 16th, unveiling a series of significant measures aimed at propelling the legal cannabis market forward. During this pivotal meeting, the board took decisive steps to address the early challenges faced by the market and set a new course for the burgeoning industry.

One of the most notable decisions was the approval of draft rules to permit the home cultivation of recreational marijuana. This landmark regulation marks a significant shift in the state’s approach to cannabis, offering residents the freedom to grow their plants for personal use. Under the proposed guidelines, adults are allowed to cultivate up to six plants, with a stipulation that no more than three can be mature at any given time. In households with multiple adults, this limit is expanded to a maximum of 12 plants. Furthermore, individuals may possess up to five pounds of marijuana harvested from their plants, subject to specific storage and odor remediation requirements to prevent any nuisance to neighbors. The approval of home cultivation regulations is set to undergo a 60-day public comment period before being finalized, with the new rules anticipated to take effect on April 17th, 2024.

In a parallel move, the board ratified more than 110 new cannabis business licenses, a move aimed at rejuvenating the legal market’s somewhat “rocky start.” This latest batch of licenses is distinguished by its inclusion of the first non-conditional licenses, diverging from the state’s previous Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD) program. Unlike the CAURD program, which prioritized justice-involved individuals by setting specific eligibility criteria, these new licenses were open to a broader applicant pool, thereby expanding opportunities within the cannabis industry. The allocation of licenses was as follows:

  • 24 cultivation licenses
  • 9 distribution licenses
  • 26 microbusiness licenses
  • 12 processor licenses
  • 25 retail licenses
  • 14 provisional retail licenses
  • 2 cannabis research licenses

Tremaine Wright, the chair of the Cannabis Control Board, underscored the significance of this development in her remarks, emphasizing that this advancement is just the beginning of the board’s efforts to expand the legal cannabis market. She assured that the board is committed to preparing and reviewing as many applications as possible for future approvals. As there were over 7000 applications received, there is still a long way to go in getting applications processed in the state.

The board also announced the opening of a new application period in March for Processor Type 3 Licenses. These licenses will enable holders to package, label, and brand cannabis products, although they exclude activities such as extracting, blending, and infusing. Furthermore, applications for transitioning existing AUCCs and AUCPs into annual licenses will become available, addressing the need for these entities to evolve within the regulatory framework.

This suite of measures taken by the New York Cannabis Control Board signifies a robust effort to address the initial hurdles encountered by the state’s legal cannabis market. By facilitating home cultivation, broadening the licensing framework, and ensuring ongoing regulatory adjustments, the board is laying the groundwork for a vibrant and inclusive cannabis industry in New York. The implications of these decisions are far-reaching, promising to enhance accessibility, stimulate economic growth, and reflect a progressive approach to cannabis regulation.

Recent Update 2/1/23:

  • First two conditional adult use dispensaries have opened
  • Laboratory testing license applications open until March 31st
  • Cannabis Control Board Meeting: January 25th
    • Adult use regulations were not discussed, no date set for when the board will approve these at this time (next meeting will be late feb/ early march)
    • Approved additional conditional adult use licenses from existing applications
    • Approved updated medical cannabis regulations (public comment period ended in September 19th)
      • Will go into effect February 15th
      • Regulations mostly unchanged from existing regs, main change is auto registration of patients when they are diagnosed by a doctor
    • An application for initial registration as a registered organization (medical license, with ability to have dispensaries, manufacturing, distribution, cultivation) shall include no more than four dispensing sites
    • Real estate required at time of application
    • A registered organization may apply to add an additional four dispensing sites
  • $10,000 application fee, and $200,000 registration fee for registered organizations if approved
  • Social equity not required, but can be used in consideration of approval (minority owned business, woman owned business enterprise (or both), a service-disabled veteran-owned business, or from communities disproportionately impacted)

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our cannabis licensing specialists, and start exploring all the exciting opportunities available in the New York recreational marijuana market.

Update 3/31/21: After years of hard work from cannabis advocates in the state, Assembly Bill S854A to legalize cannabis in the State of New York was officially signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday, March 31st. New York becomes the newest state to legalize alongside its nearby neighbor New Jersey in bringing the legal cannabis market to the Atlantic states.

After years of adult-use cannabis being unavailable on the east coast, a flurry of legalization proposals have sprung up in the last few months and New York looks to join it’s neighbor New Jersey in becoming some of the first Atlantic states to legalize.

Several proposals in New York to legalize recreational cannabis have failed to gain traction in the legislature in the past few years, but with new pressure to increase tax revenues to combat the economic effects of COVID-19 and end the historic inequities that have ensued form the war on drugs, the state finally is poised to move forward with legalization.

New York Cannabis & Commercial Real Estate Research

Uses: Retail, Delivery, Cultivation, Distribution, Nursery, On-Site Consumption, Processor, Testing Lab, Microbusiness, Small business adult-use cooperative

Distance Requirements: TBD

Final regulatory and licensure will be centrally controlled by a new regulatory body comprised of legislative and executive appointments.

Caps: TBD

A goal shall be established to award fifty percent of adult-use cannabis licenses to social and economic equity applicants and ensure inclusion of: individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition; minority-owned businesses; women-owned businesses; minority and women-owned businesses, disadvantaged farmers, service-disabled veterans.

Tax Rate:

  • Medical marijuana: Purchases are subject to a 7% medical marijuana excise tax, but are not subject to any statewide retail sales tax.
  • Adult Use: Cannabis products would be subject to a state tax of nine percent, plus an additional four percent local tax.
    • Edibles (e.g. food and beverages) are taxed at $0.03 per mg of THC
    • Concentrates (e.g. vaporization oil, wax, shatter, and resin) are taxed at $0.008 per mg of THC
    • Cannabis flower (e.g. loose flower, pre-rolls, or shake) are taxed at $.005 per mg THC.

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