What types of cannabis licenses are available?
Because much of the regulatory licensing framework does not yet exist, there is no established start date. Reports suggest sales could start in December 2022. There is a tiered licensing structure baked into the system so that companies cannot generally be vertically integrated unless you are granted a microbusiness license.
The available licenses include:
Cultivator License—includes the agricultural production of cannabis and minimal processing and preparation.
Processor License—includes blending, extracting, infusing, packaging, and preparing cannabis for sale. There is a limit of one license per processor, but each license can authorize multiple locations.
Distributor License—authorizes the acquisition, possession, distribution, and sale of cannabis from a licensed cultivator or processor to retail dispensaries and on-site consumption sites.
Retail Dispensary License—authorizes the sale of cannabis to consumers, with a limit of three retail dispensary licenses per person. A retail licensee may not also hold a Cultivator, Processor, Microbusiness, Cooperative, or Distributor License.
Cooperative License—authorizes the acquisition, possession, cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale from the licensed premises of the cooperative to distributors, on-site consumption sites, and retail dispensaries, but not directly to consumers.
Microbusiness License—authorizes limited cultivation, processing, distribution, delivery, and dispensing of the licensee's own adult-use cannabis and cannabis products. A microbusiness licensee may not hold any other license, and may only distribute its own products to dispensaries.
Delivery License—authorizes the delivery of products by licensees independent of another license.
Nursery License—authorizes the production, sale, and distribution of clones, immature plants, seeds, and other agricultural products used specifically for the planting, propagation, and cultivation of cannabis by cultivators, cooperatives, and microbusinesses.
On-Site Consumption License—authorizes the establishment of a location for the on-site consumption of cannabis.
Application Fees: The new Office of Cannabis Management would be responsible for determining the associated application and licensing fees and would be tasked with drafting the rules and regulations to govern cannabis businesses.
Local Regulation: Local municipalities (cities, towns, and villages) would have until December 31, 2021 or nine months after the bill takes effect, whichever is later, to opt-out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses within their borders. Local municipalities would be able to regulate the time, place, and manner of cannabis operations through local zoning ordinances.
Timeline: The tax structure of the bill wouldn't take effect until April 1, 2022, which would seem to be the absolute earliest legal sales could begin. We anticipate the OCM making business regulations and license applications available within the first quarter of 2022.
If you have any questions regarding procuring a cannabis license, feel free to call our office at 212-233-0666