New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill legalizing cannabis on March 31, 2021. This legislation legalized recreational cannabis where adults aged 21 and over are allowed to possess up to 3 ounces (85 g) of cannabis or 0.85 ounces (24 g) of concentrated cannabis.

The History

The time has come for New York to open up its world class market to adult use marijuana businesses, with an emphasis on supporting their social equity participants. The first retail licenses for recreational marijuana will be coming to New York in late 2022 or early 2023. With 15 licenses having already been approved for existing hemp businesses that are looking to process marijuana and extract cannabinoids, this represents the first approvals for adult use licenses in the state. The first 100 or more retail marijuana licenses in New York will be held exclusively by those who have been convicted of related offenses or their relatives, according to officials. 

The Market

With a market such as New York, known to be one of the three largest markets in the world, the 2022 MJBiz Factbook projects that annual sales will hit $1 billion-$1.2 billion in 2023 and $2.2 billion-$2.7 billion by 2026. New York lawmakers are also planning to approve a $200 million budget to renovate and lease storefronts in the state that can be operated by these new social equity licensees. The budget also predicted that over the following six years, marijuana taxes in New York will bring in more than $1.25 billion. Over 240 farms are currently licensed to grow adult use cannabis in the Empire State.


Currently, the adult use licenses available for acquisition are 


The Adult-use cultivator license allows license holders to plant, grow, clone, harvest, dry, cure, grade, and trim cannabis products within the licensed facility’s premises.


Processing or manufacturing licenses within this program allow for the extraction of cannabis and/or compounding, blending, infusing, or other forms of manufacturing cannabis concentrates or cannabis products.


A unique New York cannabis license type, the cooperative license allows for the cultivation, processing, and sale of cannabis and cannabis-derived products to licensed distributors, on-site consumption sites, registered organizations, or retail dispensaries. 


The New York cannabis Micro-Business license allows for limited size cultivation, processing, distribution, and the retail dispensing of cannabis and cannabis-derived products.

Retail Dispensary

The Adult-use retail dispensary license allows for the sale of cannabis and cannabis-derived products directly to consumers over the age of 21 at the licensed facility premises, or by delivery. 


This license type allows for the delivery of cannabis and cannabis-derived products to be delivered directly to cannabis consumers.



An Adult-use Distributor License allows for the wholesale of any cannabis The Adult-use retail dispensary license allows for the sale of cannabis and cannabis-derived products directly to consumers over the age of 21 at the licensed facility premises, or by delivery. product for which a license is required.

On-Site Consumption

The Adult-use on-site consumption license allows for the consumption of cannabis and cannabis-derived products on the premises of the licensed facility.


The New York cannabis nursery license is a niche cultivation-based license type that allows producing only clones, immature plants, seeds, and other agricultural products used during the planting, propagation, and cultivation of cannabis by license holders authorized to cultivate mature cannabis plants