New York marijuana consumption sites are locations where medical and recreational marijuana users can legally smoke or consume marijuana within the specified limits in the state. Consumption sites are lounge-like locations that allow people to buy and use cannabis on-site. Per New York's marijuana law, cannabis can only be used in a private home or a state-licensed on-site consumption site. The New York Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) also adds cannabis to the Clean Indoor Air Act which establishes a baseline on where cannabis can be vaped or smoked. All inhaled forms of cannabis including smoking, vaping, and dabbing generate an aerosol of fine particles that convey the psychoactive agent in cannabis (Tetrahydrocannabinol) deep into the lungs of the consumers. However, these forms of consumption also pollute the air and can be harmful to other people especially individuals under the age of 21.
Yes. Pursuant to the MRTA, the on-site consumption license is one of the licenses issued by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). The on-site consumption license authorizes the acquisition, possession, and sale of cannabis from the licensed premises of the on-site consumption licensee to cannabis consumers for use at the on-site consumption location. Note that an adult-use on-site consumption licensee is not allowed to provide cannabis products to any person under the age of 21. Also, no person under the age of 21 is permitted on the premises of a New York cannabis on-site consumption facility.
Neither are the regulations for the operations of the recreational cannabis industry in New York promulgated yet, nor is the Office of Cannabis Management currently accepting applications for on-site consumption licenses. However, under the MRTA, certain requirements have been stipulated for cannabis on-site consumption license applicants.
The MRTA offers strict lease requirements for on-site consumption license applicants. No applicant will be awarded an on-site consumption license unless the applicant owns the premises or is in possession of the premises under a written lease for a duration equal to or greater than the license period. However, as allowed in the MRTA, such permits may be renewed without the need of a lease.
The lease requirement is waived for premises leased from government agencies, provided that the relevant administrator of the government agency produces written documentation detailing the terms of tenancy under which the applicant is leasing the premises. Such paperwork must be provided with the licensing application submitted to the OCM. Additionally, the paperwork should contain any short-term lease arrangements or signed occupancy agreements between the applicant and the government agency.
No marijuana on-site consumption license applicant will be granted a license for any premises within 500 feet of school grounds or 200 feet from a house of worship.
Additionally, the MRTA requires the OCM to establish rules specifying the requirements for granting a license to an application. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
New York integrated social and economic equity into the MRTA to guarantee that members of minority groups who have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition benefit from legalization. Applicants for social and economic equity include the following:
Additionally, applicants who are members of a community that has been disproportionately impacted by prior cannabis prohibition enforcement, earn less than 80% of the county's median income, have been convicted of a marijuana offense, or have a close family member who has been convicted will be given preference.
The MRTA recommends that an application for an on-site consumption license be granted in the public interest, taking into consideration, but not limited to, the following factors:
Section 62.3 of the MRTA requires applicants to affirm, under penalty of perjury, that their applications are truthful. Additionally, they should expect to be contacted for the following information:
Note that the MRTA allows local authorities to opt out from permitting an on-site consumption site to be located within their jurisdictions. However, municipalities are not allowed to opt out of adult-use legalization. To opt out of permitting the establishment of on-site consumption sites, a municipality must pass a local law by December 31, 2021. That is, if a municipality has previously enacted a local law or resolution restricting adult-use cannabis licensees from operating within its jurisdiction, the municipality must enact a new local legislation that complies with the MRTA's opt-out criteria.
Per the MRTA, a municipality that does not opt out by December 31, 2021, will be unable to opt out at a future date. If a town chooses to opt out, it only affects the area of the town outside of any village within the town. County governments are not allowed to opt out of permitting the establishment of on-site consumption licenses within their jurisdiction. Any municipal legislation that opts out of allowing on-site consumption permits will be subject to a permissive vote in accordance with Section 24 of the Municipal Home Rule Law. This enables municipal voters to petition for approval or disapproval of the local legislation.
At least 30 days before filing an application for an on-site consumption license, an applicant must inform the municipality of the plan to do so. Notification must be given to the village, town, or city clerk, or, if the proposed premise is located in the city of New York, to the community board in New York City. When a municipality expresses an opinion in support or opposition to a license application, the opinion becomes part of the record and is utilized by the OCM to decide whether to approve or deny the application. The Cannabis Control Board must then reply in writing to the city, town, village, or community board, stating how such a perspective was considered in deciding whether to approve or reject an application.
By constantly visiting the OCM website, you may keep updated about the application window and deadlines. Applicants who have been denied in their applications can apply to the Cannabis Control Board for a review of such decisions in a manner to be provided by the rules of the Board.
The cost for an on-site consumption license in New York is not yet known. Until the Cannabis Control Board and the Office of Cannabis Management promulgates the rules for the regulations and operations of the adult-use marijuana industry in the state, the fee will remain undecided. What is clear under the MRTA though, is that the fee will be non-refundable. The Act also provides for a waiver or reduction in the licensing fee for applicants considered to be social and economic equity applicants.
New York on-site consumption licensees are not permitted to have a direct or indirect financial or controlling interest or own more than 3 on-site consumption licenses. They are also not allowed to own or have any interests in an adult-use retail dispensary, cultivation, processor, microbusiness, cooperative, or distributor license.