A cannabis nursery, as defined in Section 3-35 of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), is a cultivator that produces only clones, immature plants, seeds, and other agricultural products for the propagation, planting, and cultivation of cannabis by licensed adult-use cannabis cultivators, cooperatives, microbusinesses, and registered organizations.
The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) will issue nursery licenses to qualifying cannabis establishments, authorizing the production, distribution, and sale of clones, immature plants, seeds, and other agricultural products used exclusively for the propagation, planting, and cultivation of cannabis by licensed adult-use cultivators, microbusinesses, cooperatives, or registered organizations.
The size, scope, and eligibility of cannabis nursery licensees will be determined by the Cannabis Control Board. Per the New York Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), the CCB will issue licenses to cannabis nurseries in a manner that promotes social and economic equity.
The newly created Office of Cannabis Management will grant marijuana distribution licenses (OCM). Before issuing licenses, the Office of Cannabis Management must create and adopt rules to carry out the state's cannabis legislation. As a result, the application procedure for cannabis production licenses and associated dates remain uncertain.
While the OCM is not accepting new license applications at the moment, the MRTA incorporates some of the OCM's criteria and standards. For example, the MRTA mandates that applicants for cannabis nursery licenses be at least 21 years of age. Furthermore, licenses must be renewed every two years.
Additionally, the MRTA requires the OCM to develop regulations outlining the criteria for awarding a license to a particular application. These conditions may include the following, but are not limited to:
New York integrated the notion of social and economic equity into the MRTA in order to ensure that people of minority groups have disproportionately benefited from cannabis legalization.
The effort for social and economic equity aims to aid people who have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement, such as minority and women-owned businesses, struggling farmers, and disabled veterans, in securing lucrative licenses. These incentives may include the ability to accelerate their application; priority or exclusive access to particular license classes or categories; priority access to specific markets; fee reduction or delay; and access to low- or no-interest financing.
Additionally, applicants who are members of a community that has been disproportionately impacted by prior cannabis prohibition enforcement, who earn less than 80% of the county's median income, who have been convicted of a marijuana offense, or who have a close family member who has been convicted will receive preference. Around 50% of cannabis company licenses will be given to applicants from neighborhoods that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition enforcement.
For persons considered social and economic equity applicants, licenses cannot be sold or transferred during the first three years after issuance, except with the board's prior written permission. After the three-year interval, a social and economic equity applicant may sell or transfer the license, provided that such intention is communicated to the CCB and the licensee repays any outstanding balance on loans given by the Board.
The MRTA of New York advises that a nursery license application be granted in the public interest, considering the following criteria into mind, but not limited to:
Additionally, the application must comply with any additional OCM criteria; and, if the applicant is a registered organization, the applicant must demonstrate the establishment's continuous efforts to cultivate, distribute, and/or study medical cannabis in preparation for certification.
Applicants for cannabis nursery licenses must have a "significant presence" in New York, according to Section 3.1 of the MRTA. Corporations and other legal entities must adhere to the following standards:
Section 62.3 of the MRTA requires applicants to certify, under penalty of perjury, that their applications are truthful. Furthermore, they should anticipate being questioned on the following:
Note that certain local ordinances may apply and some approvals may be required at the county or municipal levels for a cannabis license application to be successful. The ordinances and approvals vary per the proposed location of the cannabis establishment. Hence, it is recommended that you research the specific regulations, permits, and approvals applicable to your locality before submitting your application to the OCM.
Per Section 76 of the MRTA, a cannabis license applicant in New York is required to inform the municipality in which the cannabis establishment will be situated of the intention to file an application for a cannabis license. The notification must be filed with the municipal clerk, not less than 30 days nor more than 270 days prior to submitting the state licensing application. The notification must follow the Cannabis Control Board's format.
If a local government offers an opinion in favor or against issuing the registration, license, or permit application, that view becomes part of the record on which the Office of Cannabis Management bases its licensure recommendation to the Cannabis Control Board. The Cannabis Control Board will respond in writing to the municipality with an explanation of how such a view was weighed in determining whether to grant or refuse the application.
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. By checking the OCM website frequently, you may stay informed about the application window and schedule.
It is not yet known what the cost for a marijuana nursery license would be in New York. The fee will be made known when the Cannabis Control Board and the Office of Cannabis Management promulgate the rules governing the regulations, license applications, and the operations of the adult-use marijuana industry in the state. However, contained in the MRTA are instructions clarifying that the fee for cannabis licenses in New York are non-refundable. Additionally, the Act provides for a fee waiver or reduction for applicants considered social and economic equity applicants.
According to Section 75 of the MRTA, a cannabis nursery licensee in New York may only apply for and hold a nursery license for the purpose of selling to other growers, cooperatives, or microbusinesses. New York’s adult-use cannabis law also allows for an adult-use cultivator licensee to apply for, and hold, a nursery license.