Yes. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) contains provisions for several types of cannabis licenses in New York. One of such licenses is the Adult-Use Processor License which is a legal certification that authorizes the acquisition, processing, and sale of cannabis from the licensed premises of the adult-use cultivator to licensed distributors in New York.
According to the MRTA, cannabis processing includes the following practices:
As established by the MRTA, New York also issues two other types of licenses that allow the holders to distribute cannabis in the state: Registered organization adult-use cultivator processor distributor retail dispensary license and Registered Organization Adult-use Cultivator Processor Distributor license.
No person may own more than one processor license. A processor may also obtain a distributor license, solely for the distribution of their own products. Licensed cannabis processors may not own or have any interest in a license in the cannabis retail tier. However, the
No. New York does not require cannabis processors to also hold cannabis cultivation licenses. However, registered organizations may hold vertically integrated licenses (Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator Processor Distributor Retail Dispensary License or Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator Processor Distributor License) which affords them the same rights possible with Adult-Use Cultivation licenses.
Per the MRTA, there are currently no provisions for multiple categories or varying criteria for classifying cannabis processing licenses in New York. While the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) may implement certain rules regarding shared or single-use facilities, prospective cannabis establishment owners will have to wait for the final regulations to know the full limits or scope of the cannabis processing license.
Other than the Adult-Use Processor License, cannabis establishments in New York can only legally process cannabis in the state if they hold the Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator Processor Distributor Retail Dispensary License or Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator Processor Distributor License.
The Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator Processor Distributor Retail Dispensary License confers the same rights as those permitted to the adult-use cultivator, processor, distributor, and retail dispensary licensees. This license requires that the location of registered organization adult-use retail dispensaries be limited to three of the organization's medical dispensaries' and only authorizes the distribution of the registered organization's own products.
A Registered Organization Adult-use Cultivator Processor Distributor license also authorizes a registered organization to have the same privileges as the adult-use cultivator, processor, and distributor licensees. The manner of operations and participation of both registered organizations' licenses in New York's cannabis adult-use market will be determined later by the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). Note that no registered organization may hold an interest in or own any other adult-use license type.
There are no separate licenses for cannabis establishments manufacturing or processing cannabis edibles in New York. The state Office of Cannabis Management has not created a distinction between what types of cannabis products may be processed by cannabis license holders.
The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), a newly created entity under the MRTA, will issue licenses for cannabis processing. Before the Office of Cannabis Management can issue licenses though, it must draft and approve regulations to execute the state's cannabis law. As a consequence, the application procedure and timelines for cannabis processing licenses remain unclear.
While the OCM is not accepting new license applications at the moment, the MRTA already includes certain criteria and requirements. For instance, the MRTA requires candidates for cannabis distribution licenses to be 21 years of age or older. Additionally, licenses must be renewed every two years.
The MRTA requires the OCM to adopt regulations defining criteria for determining whether to grant a license to an application, including but not limited to the following:
New York embraced the concept of social and economic equity as part of the MRTA in order to ensure that members of minority groups who have been disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition benefit from legalization. The social and economic equality initiative seeks to assist people such as women-owned companies, struggling farmers, and injured veterans, in obtaining lucrative licenses.
Additionally, applicants 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 be given preference.
The New York MRTA recommends that an application be granted a processing license in the public interest, considering the following criteria into consideration, but not limited to:
According to Section 3.1 of the MRTA, applicants seeking cannabis production licenses must have a "substantial presence" in New York. Corporations and legal entities are required to follow the following guidelines:
Section 62.3 of the MRTA requires applicants to affirm, under penalty of perjury, that their applications are true. Additionally, they may expect to be contacted for the following information:
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 location. Hence, it is recommended that you research the specific regulations, permits, and approvals applicable to your locality before submitting your application.
According to Section 76 of the MRTA, a cannabis license applicant in New York must notify the municipality in which the cannabis facility will be located of their desire to file a cannabis license application. Prior to filing the state license application, the notification must be submitted with the municipal clerk no less than 30 days before and no more than 270 days in advance. The notice must adhere to the format established by the Cannabis Control Board.
If a local government expresses an opinion in support or opposition to the registration, license, or permit application, such opinion becomes part of the record upon which the Office of Cannabis Management makes its licensure recommendation to the Cannabis Control Board. The Cannabis Control Board will respond to the municipality in writing with an explanation of how such viewpoints were evaluated in deciding whether to grant or deny 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 can keep updated about the application window and timeline.
At the moment, the cost of a New York cannabis processing license is unclear. The fee, however, is non-refundable under MRTA and may be waived or reduced in the event of an equity application. The fee may also be decided by the volume of cannabis products processed and other criteria, as specified in Section 63.1 of the MRTA.