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How To Get a New York Cannabis License

How to get a New York cannabis license blog post.

How To Get a New York Cannabis License

If you’re thinking about opening a recreational or medical-use cannabis business in New York, your first step will be applying for a NY cannabis business license. The application process can initially seem complicated, so we gathered some important information to get you started.

If your business performs any commercialized activities involving legalized cannabis, you need a New York cannabis business license. This includes:

  • Growing cannabis or hemp
  • Storing cannabis or cannabis-related products
  • Manufacturing cannabis products
  • Transporting anything containing cannabis
  • Selling anything containing cannabis
  • Testing cannabis products
  • Delivering cannabis products to consumers

If you fail to follow the proper steps and procedures during the licensing process, your application could be rejected. And operating unlicensed is a major no-no. With New York officials cracking down on unlicensed cannabis businesses, it’s a risk that will result in catastrophic damages to your business and your life.

Understanding the cannabis license process is critical for a successful application. In this article, We’ll outline the basic information you need to know to apply for a cannabis business license in New York. Keep reading to learn more.

New York Cannabis License Types

New York has four main types of cannabis business licenses. Each is considered conditional, as the adult-use market has only recently opened at the end of 2022. 

The license types are explained below:

  • Adult-use conditional cultivator: hemp growers who grow cannabis with a THC potency of over 0.3%.
  • Adult-use conditional processor: processors who produce cannabis and hemp products containing ingredients with a THC potency over 0.3%.
  • Conditional adult-use retailer: the state’s first dispensary owners to open retail locations where cannabis and hemp products containing THC over 0.3% can be purchased legally.

Other NY cannabis business licenses include the Cannabinoid Hemp Retail License, Temporary Retail Permit & Distributor Permit, and the Cannabinoid Hemp Farm Processor License and Cannabinoid Hemp Processor License. These more established application processes and licenses govern the production and sale of non-adult-use products. 

New York Cannabis License Social Equity Initiative

New York is one of many U.S. states to establish a social equity program that aims to promote access to licenses for community members who have been impacted by prohibition. The classification of who qualifies as a social-equity applicant also includes:

  • Women-owned businesses
  • Minority-owned businesses
  • Residents of impacted communities
  • Distressed farmers
  • Service-disabled veterans

The Office of Cannabis Management aims to ensure that a minimum of half of all awarded licenses go to social and economic equity license applications. 

How to Get a New York Cannabis Business License

Once you’ve determined whether or not you qualify as a social equity applicant, it’s time to follow the application process. 

Here are the steps:

1. Notify the Municipality

At least 30 days before you file your application, you must submit a notification to the municipality in which your business will operate and be registered.

2. Submit Your Fingerprint

Fingerprints are a security measure required by the Office of Cannabis Management as a part of the background check process. 

Those involved in the application process who must submit a fingerprint include each person involved in each level of ownership as well as their spouses. 

In addition to the applicant or business owner, this includes:

  • The applicant or sole proprietor’s spouse
  • Managers
  • Presidents
  • Vice presidents 
  • Treasurers and secretaries 
  • Officers or directors
  • Board members and trustees
  • Certain stockholders

This stage of the application process must be completed before a license is granted.

3. Apply Online

Once you’ve completed the fingerprint process, it’s time to submit your application via Business Express NY.

The process for submitting your application online is straightforward and the instructions will guide you through and help ensure you don’t make critical mistakes.

How Much Does a New York Cannabis License Cost?

The cost of a New York cannabis business license varies depending on the size and category of your business. 

We’ve listed some details below:

  • Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD): $2000
  • Cannabinoid Hemp Retail License: $300 per location
  • Cannabinoid Hemp Distributor Permit: $300
  • Cannabinoid Temporary Retail Permit:
    • 1 Month: $25
    • 2 Months: $50
    • 3 Months: $75
  • Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator: $2000
  • Adult-Use Conditional Processor: $2000
  • Cannabinoid Hemp Processor, Extracting & Manufacturing: $1000 application, $3500 license
  • Cannabinoid Hemp Processor, Manufacturing: $500 application, $1000 license
  • Cannabinoid Hemp Farm Processor License: $100 application, $300 license

Get Your Cannabis Business License in New York

The key to a successful New York cannabis business license application is preparedness. Before you apply for your license, ensure your business is compliant with federal, municipal, and state regulations

You must enter the application with an understanding of what type of business license you’re applying for and whether or not you meet certain requirements for prioritization.

Once you’re ready, complete the pre-application checklist:

  • Ensure compliance with all regulations
  • Scan your marketing and SEO efforts for non-compliant messaging
  • Prepare a solid business plan
  • Select a business structure
  • Obtain tax ID numbers
  • Select and register your business name
  • Open a business account with a New York bank
  • Get insured and create a plan for remaining insured
  • Research local commercial spaces
  • Gather documentation to prove eligibility for application priority
  • Gather documentation to prove compliance

Streamline the Cannabis Licensing Application Process With Qredible®

Once you’ve obtained your license, you can validate it on your Qredible® profile. Qredible is the industry’s only digital registry of validated and verified legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp companies. Qredible can also assist you by finding a qualified attorney in the state through our community of professionals.  

Qredible makes it easy to prove your compliance and gain trust with investors, retailers, and consumers by demonstrating the validity of your license. But it also simplifies the pre-application process with a series of tools and functionalities to ensure compliance and quality assurance.

At Qredible, we’re working hard to ensure trustworthy businesses outperform their corner-cutting competitors. To learn more about how we can support your team, set up a discovery call.


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