News | 08.27.2022

New York State Now Accepting Applications For Dispensaries & Cannabis Retail Stores

New York's fully-operating recreational cannabis scene is closer than you think.

It wasn’t too long ago that New York state officially legalized recreational cannabis.

But there was one odd thing about its legalization that left consumers wondering, when do we get to consume?

Instead of rolling out legalization along with a handful of dispensaries and pot shops, New York spaced it out. In March, the state marked its cannabis milestone, and it’s only now starting to accept applications for dispensaries and retail stores.

What does that mean for New York consumers? The faster we can get these businesses licensed, up, and running, the faster you can legally and easily purchase cannabis.

New York's Application Process

The state announced last week that it’s ready to start accepting applications for pot shops.

New York is putting social equity at the forefront of its application process. It’s reserving the first 150 licenses for individuals with prior cannabis convictions or individuals related to someone with one.

Similarly, the first batch of licenses will go towards individuals with experience running a steady and profitable business for two years or more.



Those without two-year business experience can still apply but must wait for the upcoming licensing rounds. These individuals will have more of an advantage if they are:

  • People of color
  • Women
  • Farmers
  • Disabled veterans
  • People from communities most impacted by the war on drugs

Furthermore, the above individuals should make up roughly 50% of New York’s total cannabis retail licenses.

Although we’re not too sure when legal dispensary sales will launch, the application process ensures that those who were most impacted by cannabis prohibition get first grabs.

During a virtual news conference, Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander said the state’s strategy is to ensure that “those most impacted have a real opportunity to participate here.”

He emphasized that it’s “really about writing a wrong.”

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