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new york

new york marijuana laws 

In July 2014, New York enacted the Compassionate Care Act, authorizing a state medical marijuana program. After five medical marijuana Registered Organizations received licensure, the first dispensaries opened doors on January 7, 2016. After medical marijuana patient numbers struggled to grow initially, New York expanded the qualifying conditions in 2017 to include chronic pain and authorized an additional five Registered Organizations.


While there are no current opportunities to apply for marijuana licenses in the Empire State, New York Officials have officially embraced cannabis legalization and are already taking action to expand and regulate commercial cannabis on a larger scale. 


In June 2019, Lawmakers signed a Decriminalization Act into law, which, for example, makes a misdemeanor now a violation and automatically expunges old misdemeanor convictions, impacting nearly 160,000 people with low-level marijuana convictions in the state. 


As of November 2019, there are 110,369 certified medical marijuana patients and 2,583 registered practitioners recommending medical marijuana to patients in New York. ​There are no current opportunities to apply for licenses. There are recently announced regulations, to improve the state’s medical marijuana program which includes changes to the application.


Application Fees/Start up costs

During the 2015 application process, applicants were required to submit: 

  • $10,000 non-refundable application fee

  • $200,000 registration fee, refunded to applicants not issued a registration

  1. Available License Types

There are no marijuana licenses available in New York at this time. New York’s medical marijuana program is based on Registered Organizations, who cultivate, manufacture, and sell medical marijuana.

New York State's Medical Marijuana Program allows patients who suffer from specific serious conditions to be certified by a practitioner and receive medical marijuana products for medical use with a registry identification card. Registrations are valid for two years from the date of issuance.

New York authorizes patients to receive medical marijuana for the following qualifying conditions:


  • Cancer

  • HIV or AIDS

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Spinal cord nerve injury with intractable spasticity

  • Epilepsy

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Chronic pain

  • Opioid alternative for pain that degrades health and functional capability

  • Neuropathy

  • Huntington’s disease

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Substance use disorder

Patients must also have one of these associated or complicating conditions:

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome

  • Severe or chronic pain

  • Severe nausea

  • Seizures

  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Opioid use disorder​

Get started today!

 In July 2014, New York enacted the Compassionate Care Act, authorizing a state medical marijuana program. The initial application window was from April 27, 2015 until June 5, 2015. During this phase, 43 companies submitted applications, of which the state selected five winners on July 31, 2015. Each winner will have a single manufacturing location and four dispensaries. The state does not permit dispensaries to sell whole flower or edibles, and smoking is prohibited. Patients are expected to use cannabis-based oils, liquids, and pills, either orally or through vaporization.

how to start a marijuana business new york

If you are just starting your marijuana business, the next best step is to start a Business Plan to help educate your team and be ready to apply for a marijuana business license. If you are ready to apply for a Marijuana Business License in New York, please Contact us or call our offices to set an appointment to get started. You can also select another State Opportunity, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss potential strategies such as Investment or Partnership Opportunities. 

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