The state of New York was the 15th state to legalize the use and sale of recreational cannabis in 2021, coming more than six years after the legalization and sale of medical cannabis.

Recreational cannabis dispensaries opened in December of 2022 with the first legal sale happening in Manhattan by a dispensary operated by Housing Works in Greenwich Village. 

In January of 2023, New York awarded thirty more recreational cannabis licenses to dispensaries all over the state, marking the beginning of a burgeoning industry. By October 2023, the state had made a total of $83 million from recreational cannabis alone, and continues to grow to this day.

Dispensaries are currently open in New York for both recreational and medical cannabis. However, the licensing application for cannabis in the state is currently closed.

How to Apply for a Dispensary License in New York?

To apply for a cannabis dispensary license in New York in the last conducted application round, here’s what you need to know and do:

1. Eligibility for Social and Economic Equity (SEE) Status

SEE applicants receive a 50% reduction in application fees and eligible SEE licensees receive a 50% reduction in licensing fees. To qualify for SEE status, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be an individual or individuals from a community disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition enforcement.
  • Be a minority- or woman-owned business.
  • Be a distressed farmer.
  • Be a service-disabled veteran.

2. Online Application Submission

All applications must be submitted online through NYBE (New York Business Express). Here’s how to do it:

  • Sign in to or create a NY.gov account.
  • Each application has a save and resume feature, so you don’t have to complete it all at once.
  • After completing the application, you can log in to NYBE at any time to check the status.

3. Review Regulations and Application Resources

If you’re applying for an adult-use cannabis license in New York, it’s crucial to review the Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and other application resources. These materials provide detailed information on how to obtain and operate an adult-use cannabis license in New York State.

4. Future Application Windows

Keep in mind that this is the first application window for general adult-use cannabis licensing. In the future, there may be additional application windows for licenses such as nursery, delivery, cooperative, collective, and on-site consumption.

Before kicking off your retail cannabis business, ensure to read the guidance for adult-use dispensaries, as provided by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), to keep yourself abreast of the dos and don’ts of maintaining a successful dispensary within the state.

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Dispensary in New York?

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Opening a dispensary in New York or any other state for that matter involves various costs and capital requirements. Here’s a breakdown of the expenses associated with starting a dispensary, particularly in New York:

Dispensary License Fees

  • Conditional adult-use retail license fee: $2,000
  • General dispensary license:
    • Application fee: $1,000
    • License fee: $7,000
    • Limited retail consumption facility: $3,000

Before investing in a cannabis dispensary in New York, be sure to conduct thorough research and consider the unique property and rental values in the specific area where you plan to open your dispensary. 

Remember, these figures are estimates, specific to New York and may vary depending on location and other factors within the state.

You can save yourself the hassle and trouble of finding compliant green zones to establish your cannabis dispensary by simply speaking with experts at Zoned Properties today to help you find the perfect spot for your dispensary while eliminating the uproar of regulation troubles and legal challenges in the future.

Are You Ready to Own a Dispensary in New York?

The New York City Office of Management & Budget estimates cannabis tax revenue of $38 million by fiscal year 2027, which translates to $950 million in sales that year. 

Another research by Grand View Research predicts that the New York cannabis market will reach $7.07 billion by 2025, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% over the forecast period.

Are you ready to tap into New York’s booming cannabis industry? Look no further than Zoned Properties, a leading cannabis real estate company dedicated to helping you achieve your dispensary ownership goals. 

With our comprehensive suite of services, including site identification and evaluation, brokerage, and cannabis real estate investment, we have the expertise and resources to help you find high-quality cannabis real estate properties in the most business-friendly green zones in New York. 

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to make your mark in the thriving world of cannabis. Partner with Zoned Properties today and let’s turn your dispensary dreams into reality together.